Advice and support to stay well

There are things we can all do to help us stay well. On this page you will find useful advice, information and details for a range of local and national services that  offer care and support.   

If you’re worried about your health, don’t delay, your NHS wants to see you. Using the right service for your needs, can help you get the care you need safely. Find out what to do if you need help with an urgent health problem. If you’re not sure what to do, contact NHS 111. It’s open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Visit 111.nhs.uk or call 111.

Pharmacists are highly trained healthcare professionals, who can offer clinical advice and over-the-counter medicines for a range of minor illnesses, such as hayfever, sunburn, insect bites and stings, sore throats, tummy trouble and aches and pains.

Pharmacists have the right training to make sure you get the help you need and can tell you if you need to see a GP, nurse or other healthcare professional.

Many pharmacies are open until late and at weekends and many have a private consultation room where you can ask for advice without being overheard. You do not need an appointment.

Don’t go to a pharmacy if you have symptoms of COVID-19.You can order prescriptions online via your NHS account  or by calling your GP. Ask a friend, relative or volunteer to collect medicines for you.

Find your nearest pharmacy and check their opening times on the NHS website.

You can order your repeat medication online without needing to go to a GP surgery or pharmacy using your NHS account.

You can collect a prescription yourself, or ask a friend, relative or volunteer to collect it for you. You could also speak to your pharmacy about whether they can deliver your medicine to your home.

Make sure you get your prescription medicines well before your pharmacy or GP practice closes for for bank holidays.

If you’ve been prescribed antibiotics or any other medication, make sure you take them as directed.

There are often things you can do yourself at home to treat common illnesses and problems – sometimes with the advice of a pharmacist. If you’re not sure what to do, contact NHS 111. It’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Visit 111.nhs.uk or call 111. Find out more about the following common conditions on the NHS website:

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been a worrying time and may have made it harder for parents and families to know when and how to use local health services safely. Read our Health advice for parents and carers booklet for advice on where and when to seek advice and help if you are concerned about your child’s physical or mental health. It’s available as an Easy Read booklet and in various languages and aims to help make sure your child receives any care and support they need at the right time and in the right place.

The booklet contains information on respiratory illness (coughs and colds) in children. The NHS is seeing an increase in respiratory illness in children as COVID restrictions ease and people mix more. For the majority of children, respiratory illnesses are not serious and they will soon recover following rest and plenty of fluids. But some children under two, especially those born prematurely or with a heart condition, can experience more severe illness. Parents and carers are encouraged to look out for symptoms of a severe infection and to contact a healthcare professional when concerned. 

Being registered with a GP practice will help you get the right care when you need it. Anyone in England can register and receive care from a GP practice. You do not need proof of address or immigration status, ID or an NHS number.

Find out how to register with a GP practice on the NHS website.

Washing your hands with soap and water is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself and others from illnesses such as food poisoning, diarrhoea, flu and COVID-19.

Wash your hands thoroughly for the amount of time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice (around 20 seconds).

Washing your hands properly removes dirt, viruses and bacteria to stop them spreading to other people and objects. If you do not have immediate access to soap and water then use alcohol-based handrub. For more information go to www.nhs.uk/handwashing

You should wash your hands:

  • once you get home, or into work
  • after using the toilet or changing a nappy
  • before and after handling raw foods like meat and vegetables
  • before eating or handling food
  • after blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing
  • before and after treating a cut or wound
  • after touching animals, including pets, their food and after cleaning their cages.

Owned and run by the NHS, your NHS account is a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services on your smartphone or tablet. You can use your NHS account to:

  • get your NHS COVID Pass – view and share your COVID Pass for places in England that have chosen to use this service and travel abroad
  • get advice about coronavirus – get information about coronavirus and find out what to do if you think you have it
  • order repeat prescriptions – see your available medicines, request a new repeat prescription and choose a pharmacy for your prescriptions to be sent to
  • book appointments – search for, book and cancel appointments at your GP surgery, and see details of your upcoming and past appointments
  • get health advice – search trusted NHS information and advice on hundreds of conditions and treatments. You can also answer questions to get instant advice or medical help near you
  • view your health record – securely access your GP health record, to see information like your allergies and your current and past medicines. If your GP has given you access to your detailed medical record, you can also see information like test results and details of your consultations
  • register your organ donation decision – choose to donate some or all of your organs and check your registered decision
  • find out how the NHS uses your data – choose if data from your health records is shared for research and planning
  • view your NHS number – find out what your NHS number is.

There’s strong evidence that people who are active have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, depression and dementia. Regular exercise can help improve your mental health, reduce the risk of falling and can be beneficial for recovery if you do get ill.

There are many activities you could do at home, such as walking up and down stairs, dancing, gardening, housework, or taking part in online fitness classes. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it’s something you enjoy and keeps you moving. Try to reduce the amount of time you spend sitting down during the day. Break up your time spent being inactive by walking around your home or standing up from your chair during TV advert breaks or when you’re on the phone.

Don’t do anything that feels uncomfortable and trust your instincts about your own limits. Stop if you are feeling any pain or lightheaded and stay hydrated.

You can find advice on how to stay active, lose weight, drink less and quit smoking on the NHS Better Health website.  

For advice on keeping active in your borough visit:

There are little things we can all do to help look after our mental health. Having good mental health helps us relax more, achieve more and enjoy our lives more. You can find expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing on the Every Mind Matters website.

Information on how to get help if you or a child or young person in your care is  experiencing a mental health crisis is available on our website.

Remember that other people, such as older neighbours, friends and family members, may need a bit of extra help during periods of hot weather. .  Those who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated are particularly at risk.  

Keep in touch with your friends, neighbours and family and ask if they need any practical help, or if they’re feeling under the weather.Make sure they’re stocked up with enough food supplies for a few days, in case they can’t go out.

If someone feels unwell with a high temperature during hot weather, it may be heat exhaustion or heatstroke. Find out about the signs of heat exhaustion and heatstroke, and when to get help.

If someone  does need to go out in the heat, encourage them to try to keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen regularly, wear a wide brimmed hat, and take water with them.

Make sure they get any prescription medicines before bank holidays start or if hot weather is forecast.

If they need help at times when their GP practice or pharmacy is closed or they’re not sure what to do, NHS 111 can help. The service is available online at 111.nhs.uk and also by phone. By answering questions about their health problem they will be told what to do and where to go. You can also find information at www.nhs.uk

Many of us welcome hot weather, but when it’s too hot for too long there can be health risks. In England, there are on average 2,000 heat related deaths every year. If hot weather hits this summer, make sure it does not harm you or anyone you know.

The main risks posed by a heatwave are: 

A heatwave can affect anyone, but the most vulnerable people are:

  • older people – especially those over 75
  • those who live on their own or in a care home
  • people who have a serious or long term illness – including heart or lung conditions, diabeteskidney diseaseParkinson’s disease and some mental health conditions
  • those who may find it hard to keep cool – babies and the very young, the bed bound, those with drug or alcohol addictions or with Alzheimer’s disease
  • people who spend a lot of time outside or in hot places – those who live in a top floor flat, the homeless or those whose jobs are outside

Tips for coping in hot weather include:

  • look out for those who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated – older people, those with underlying health conditions and those who live alone are particularly at risk
  • close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors
  • drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol
  • never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals
  • try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm
  • walk in the shade, apply sunscreen regularly and wear a wide brimmed hat, if you have to go out in the heat
  • avoid exercising in the hottest parts of the day
  • make sure you take water with you, if you are travelling
  • if you are going into open water to cool down, take care and follow local safety advice

For more information visit GOV.UK: Heatwave Plan for England.

If you or someone else feels unwell with a high temperature during hot weather, it may be heat exhaustion or heatstroke.

Find out about the signs of heat exhaustion and heatstroke, and when to get help.