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Keep well this winter

Prepare yourself for this winter and help support your friends and loved ones.

Health and care organisations are asking people across Lancashire and South Cumbria to make a real difference in our community and support health and care services this winter by helping to look out for your friends, neighbours, loved ones and those who are most vulnerable and at risk from flu and Covid-19. Let’s do it for Lancashire and South Cumbria.

There are some simple actions you can take to stay well this winter:

A - Ask for help

If you're struggling with your mental or physical health, ask for help from your GP or mental health services.

B - Blood pressure

Keep your blood pressure low to protect you from heart attacks and strokes.

C - Covid

Wash your hands regularly, wear your face mask and keep two metres space. Follow the rules and if you've got symptoms, get a test and self-isolate.

D - Diet

Eat a healthy diet – low sugar, low carbs, low salt, low alcohol. Eat lots of vegetables, more protein and vitamin B.

E - Exercise

Try and get out for a 20-minute walk every day, or do some high intensity training at home or even some chair-based exercises.

F - Have a flu jab

If you're entitled to a flu jab on the NHS, get it done to help you stay healthy and well this winter.


Health and care organisations are working together with community organisations and groups to support those who are most vulnerable in our communities such as people with diabetes, respiratory conditions or those who are overweight.

If you, or your family members, have any of these conditions, there are services in place locally to help with staying well and to reduce the risk of becoming ill this winter.

Dr Andy Knox gives 6 quick tips on how to stay well this winter.

Dr Andy Knox video transcript


Hello there! My name's Andy Knox, I'm a GP and a Director of Population Health in the NHS and I'm going to give you six quick tips about how to stay healthy and well this winter.

A - Ask for help. If you're struggling with your mental health, ask for help. If you're struggling with your physical health, especially if you've developed one of these new symptoms: you're losing weight without meaning to, you're bleeding from somewhere that you don't normally bleed from, you've developed a lump or bump somewhere in your body that you don't normally have one, you've got a mole that's gone darker and started bleeding, you've got headaches that are waking you from your sleep, you've got chest pain or new breathlessness, then ask for help. Ring us, as your GP we're always there for you, and we can think of the best way to help you out.

B - Blood pressure. We want everyone's blood pressure nice and low this winter to protect us from having heart attacks and strokes. The magic number 135 over 85, we want it less than that. Or if you've previously had a heart attack or a stroke or you've got diabetes, less than 130 over 80. So, if you're monitoring your blood pressure or you're concerned about it, give your practice pharmacist or practice nurse a ring. Let's get your blood pressure nice and low.

C - Covid, I know it's tough but we've got to keep our game switched on. Wear your face mask. Keep socially distance - more than two meters. Make sure you're washing your hands nice and regularly. Follow the rules in your particular tier in the country. And if you've got symptoms get yourself tested. And if you're positive please stay isolated for the full 14 days and protect the rest of your community.

D - Diet. We've got a bit of a sugar addiction in this nation. We need to curb it. Especially going into this winter to reduce our risks. So, we're going to recommend: low sugar, low carbohydrate, help us get into a more healthy weight, low salt, low alcohol. Instead try and eat a rainbow diet of vegetables every day and have more protein and vitamin B in your diet.

E - Exercise. We're not all going to look like Joe Wicks or Davina McCall but we can all make healthy choices around exercise. If you can get out for a 20-minute walk every day, or do some hiit training in front of the tv, or even just some chair-based exercises. Whatever you're able to do make a healthy choice around exercise every day.

F - Have a flu jab. If you're entitled to one on the NHS, please get it done. Let's keep COVID low and flu low and all stay healthy and well this winter.

Thank you. 

Help us help you

There are some things you can do to help stay well this winter. Take a look at the information in the drop down boxes below.

Get your flu jab

The flu vaccine is a safe and effective vaccine. It's offered every year on the NHS to help protect people at risk of flu and its complications.

Flu vaccine and coronavirus (Covid-19)

Flu vaccination is important because:

  • if you're at higher risk from coronavirus, you're also more at risk of problems from flu
  • if you get flu and coronavirus at the same time, research shows you're more likely to be seriously ill
  • it'll help to reduce pressure on the NHS and social care staff who may be dealing with coronavirus

If you've had Covid -19, it's safe to have the flu vaccine. It'll be effective at helping to prevent flu.

Find out more about the flu jab on the NHS website (opens in new window).

Get tested for Covid-19

Only get a test if you have coronavirus symptoms or have been asked to get tested by a doctor or a public health professional or by your local council.

The viral detection test, which tells you whether you currently have coronavirus or not is a swab test in which two separate viral swabs, a nose swab and a throat swab, are taken. Anyone who has coronavirus symptoms can ask for a test.

You should only ask for this test if you have the symptoms now. If the test is to be successful you need to get it done in the first 5 days of having symptoms. Do not wait – you should ask for the test as soon as you have symptoms (opens in new window).

Find out more about testing here.

Cancer appointments are safe

Please attend if you are asked to.

Together with hospital trusts across the region, Lancashire and South Cumbria Cancer Alliance is reassuring people that it is safe to attend cancer appointments during the coronavirus pandemic. People who are being tested or treated for cancer are being urged to keep their appointments.

New measures are in place to help protect patients and staff from coronavirus, it is important to not delay cancer treatment. Cancer assessment and treatments are still happening during the pandemic.

If you have any concerns about cancer, please contact your GP straight away.

Read more about cancer appointments during COVID-19 on the Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System website

Dental health

If you have a dental issue during the Covid-19 pandemic, it is important that you know how to access help when you need it. 

All dental practices in the North West are now open and have resumed face-to-face care. Due to the requirements around personal protective equipment and infection protection and control measures all dental practices are currently unable to see as many patients as before and may not yet be able to offer the full range of services due to increased infection, prevention and control measures.

If you need dental help or advice, please contact your dental practice over the phone first, rather than in person. You will be assessed over the phone and may be given advice, medication or a face-to-face appointment if needed.

Read more about accessing dental help here.

Support for key workers

Lancashire and South Cumbria Resilience Hub

Provided by Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust [opens in new window], the Resilience Hub is intended as a support system for all public sector workers and volunteers who have worked through the Covid-19 pandemic and their families.

This includes everyone from those who work in the NHS, local councils, ambulance service staff, care home workers, those working in social care and community workers.

It is hoped that the Hub will eventually be able to operate as a resource for everyone who has felt the psychological strain of Covid-19.

Visit the Resilience Hub webpage.

Useful information and resources to support your health and wellbeing

Healthy Hearts

Information about blood pressure and keeping healthy. Visit the Healthy Hearts website.

Yellow background with text which says Keep your heart healthy during COVID-19 Male stands looking at sign post. Text says, talking to others can sign post us and help get us on the right track. Have a chat with someone who can help you in the right direction. Bearded white man looks to the left. Text says mental health support in Lancashire and South Cumbria

Healthy Young Minds

Mental health support, information and resources for children and young people. Visit the Healthy Young Minds website.

Healthy young minds logo on background of cartoon childrens heads

Cards for Kindness

Help tackle loneliness amongst older people this Christmas by sending a card to your local care home. Visit the Cards for Kindness website to find out more and get involved.

Blue background with snowflakes, writing which says send a card this christmas and three different sized christmas cards