As we prepare for a busy winter period, we’re asking for the
public’s support as Christmas approaches and the temperatures

We are reminding people to utilise options for
non-emergencies including calling NHS 111, making a GP appointment,
visiting a minor injuries unit, speaking to a pharmacist or simply
acting on a concern before it becomes more serious.

This will help us to ensure we can respond to
those who need us most during this busy time.

We’ve produced a winter check list to help
people to help us during the winter months:

Winter check list

  • Check your home medicines cabinet – is
    everything in date? Restock with essentials including cold
    remedies, pain killers, indigestion tablets and diarrhoea and
    constipation remedies
  • Keep up-to-date with any repeat prescriptions
    you or your family or friend need.
  • If you or someone you look after is in an
    at-risk group don’t forget to book a flu vaccination
  • Look out for any vulnerable friends and
    neighbours – what could you do to help them? Are there any hazards
    in their homes? Do their slippers need replacing? We attend falls
    to older and vulnerable people all year round
  • Wear appropriate shoes when outside
    especially during icy weather. We typically see an increase to
    slips and trips during colder spells
  • When was the last time your vehicle was
    serviced? If your car is safer, so are you
  • Carry some useful items in your vehicle such
    as a blanket and a spade for colder and possible snowy weather
  • Wear bright colours at night. Can you be
    clearly seen as a pedestrian or cyclist? If walking at dusk or at
    night use a torch
  • Heat homes to at least 18C (65F). You might
    prefer your main living room to be slightly warmer
  • Keep your bedroom window closed on winter
    nights – breathing cold air can be bad for your health as it
    increases the risk of chest infections. If outside in the cold,
    cover your nose and mouth – especially if you have a long-term
    health condition which might be exacerbated by the cold air
  • Keep active when you’re indoors. Try not to
    sit still for more than an hour or so
  • Wear several layers of light clothes. They
    trap warm air better than one bulky layer
  • 999 should only be dialled in the event of a
    life-threatening or serious emergency
  • People who are not facing a serious emergency
    should make alternative arrangements such as dialling NHS 111 or
    seeking alternative advice from a GP or pharmacist so we can focus
    on those who need us most.

For further information on how to protect
yourself and others this winter please visit the NHS Staywell

When to call 999:

If you think a patient is suffering from one
of the following you must dial 999 for an ambulance:

  • heart attack (e.g. chest pain for more than
    15 minutes)
  • sudden unexplained shortness of breath
  • heavy bleeding
  • unconsciousness (even if the patient has
    regained consciousness)
  • traumatic back/spinal/neck pain

You should also call for an ambulance

  • you think the patient’s illness or injury is
  • you think the illness or injury may become
    worse, or even life-threatening on the way to the hospital
  • moving the patient/s without skilled people
    could cause further injury
  • the patient needs the skills or equipment of
    the ambulance service and its personnel