She said: “The run up to Christmas is a busy time for many, and one during which we seem to be more prone to picking up coughs and colds. Keeping well is really important, but particularly so for the elderly, the very young and those with long term health conditions. Being aware of some of the simple things we can do to keep ourselves well, can help to ensure we all enjoy a merry Christmas.”
• Check your local pharmacy opening hours and get prescriptions and repeat prescriptions in good time. Pharmacists are expert healthcare professionals who can give advice and recommend treatments for minor health conditions such as coughs, colds, sore throats and childhood fever. They can also provide flu jabs. Instead of waiting for an appointment at your surgery, visit your local pharmacy first
• Keep Warm - heat your home to at least 18 degrees C (65F), if you can. If you can’t heat all the rooms you use, heat the living room during the day, and your bedroom just before you go to bed. Vulnerable people who struggle to keep their homes warm can get help from Hampshire County Council’s Hitting the Cold Spots initiative
• Check gas appliances are Carbon Monoxide safe to reduce incidents of Carbon Monoxide poisoning. People are advised to fit an audible Carbon Monoxide alarm to their homes
• Wash your hands frequently as this is crucial to helping stop the spread of germs like Norovius. Also known as the winter vomiting bug, norovirus is an extremely infectious stomach bug. It can strike all year round, but is more common in winter and in places such as hotels, hospitals, nursing homes and schools. The illness is unpleasant, but it's usually over within a few days
• When people are ill with vomiting and diarrhoea, it's important to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration, water is best. Read about how to prevent food poisoning.
Hampshire County Council is supporting the joint national initiative from NHS England and Public Health England to Stay Well This Winter.
For more information visit the web pages or follow @NHSChoices and #StayWellThisWinter via Twitter.