Winter conditions can be seriously bad for our health, especially for people aged 65 or older, and people with long-term conditions such as COPD, bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, diabetes or heart or kidney disease.

Being cold can raise the risk of increased blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes. The cold and damp weather, ice, snow and high winds can all aggravate any existing health problems and make us more vulnerable to respiratory winter illnesses.

But there are lots of things you can do to stay well this winter.

Choose well

Our Accident and Emergency (A&E) department can get very busy at times and you may wait longer than normal to be seen, for example in winter and over bank holidays.

999 and A&E services are for people with serious injuries, illnesses and emergencies.

There are a number of other healthcare services that people can use for minor ailments and injuries, such as walk-in centres, urgent care centres and minor injuries units. And pharmacists can give advice and over-the-counter treatments for coughs, colds and stomach upsets such as sickness and diarrhoea.

  • Local pharmacies offer fully trained health professionals who can provide quality healthcare advice instantly. To find your nearest pharmacy, text ‘pharmacy’ to 64746.
  • Self-care – for treatment of minor winter illnesses, by combining a well stocked medicine cabinet with plenty of rest.
  • NHS 111 (dial 111 from your phone)/or visit the 111 website – for absolutely any health questions, around the clock, and to find local services.
  • Pharmacist – for advice on common illnesses (inc winter colds), and the best medicines to treat them.
  • GP – for medical advice, examinations and prescriptions for illnesses you just can’t shake off.
  • NHS Walk-in Centre – for treatment of minor illnesses or injuries, without an appointment.
  • A&E or 999 – for critical or life-threatening situations.

For health advice and reassurance 24/7 contact NHS 111 on (dial 111 from your phone)/ or visit the 111 website

Keep your house warm

Follow these tips to keep you and your family warm and well at home:

  • If you’re not very mobile, are 65 or over, or have a health condition, such as heart or lung disease, heat your home to at least 18C (65F)
  • Keep your bedroom at 18C all night if you can – and keep the bedroom window closed
  • During the day you may prefer your living room to be slightly warmer than 18C
  • To reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), babies should sleep in rooms heated to between 16C and 20C
  • If you’re under 65, healthy and active, you can safely have your home cooler than 18C, if you’re comfortable
  • Draw curtains at dusk and keep doors closed to block out draughts
  • Get your heating system checked regularly by a qualified professional Warm Homes Oldham

The Warm Homes Oldham scheme is an award winning free service for Oldham residents, providing advice, support and energy saving measures to residents that are struggling to pay their energy bills and to heat their homes.

You can arrange a free home visit with our team who will assess your situation and see if you can be offered any of the following:

  • Insulation and heating measures (subject to eligibility and survey)
  • Small energy saving measures (like draught proofing and radiator foils)
  • Advice on how to reduce energy use around the home and use heating controls effectively
  • Support with switching energy tariffs, maximising income, claiming benefit entitlements and getting out of fuel debt

To find out more, arrange a survey or make a referral please contact Warm Homes Oldham on: