Being prepared for winter illnesses

You can stay on top of niggling winter illnesses by practicing effective self-care at home according to the region’s leading healthcare experts.

Seasonal minor illnesses, such as colds, sore throats and upset stomachs, tend to circulate more frequently during the winter as colder outside temperatures lead people to socialise indoors.

A well-stocked medicine cabinet, containing staple items such as painkillers, ibuprofen, anti-diarrhoea tablets and a digital thermometer, means families can begin care and treatment at the first sign of illness.


Another element of self-care is knowing where to go when illness and injury cannot be safely managed at home, such as when mild symptoms become worse or when over-the-counter medicine proves ineffective.

The NHS 111 online service has a detailed symptom checker and can provide users with patient-specific advice and guidance, as well as directions to other nearby healthcare options.

Local pharmacies can also provide quick help and support for a wide range of issues, with some larger sites having private treatment rooms in which trained staff can carry out consultations before prescribing treatment or, where appropriate, arranging an appointment with another healthcare service.

People experiencing a genuine, life-threatening medical emergency should always call 999 or visit their nearest hospital emergency department.