Stay well in winter

The NHS is here to help when you need it, but you can Help us Help you by knowing when you can care for yourself and your family.

The winter months can be challenging for many Surrey residents, and add more pressure to NHS services during periods of extreme weather. Cold weather can make some health problems worse and even lead to serious complications, especially for those aged 65 and over, or if you have a long-term health condition. Even for those in full health, winter can bring with it coughs, colds and flu bugs.

Stay healthy and well this winter

Stay healthy and well this winter and be prepared using the advice below. Seek help when needed using the most appropriate local NHS services and stock your medicine cabinet with the essentials so you can treat common health conditions like sore throats, colds, coughs and grazed knees.

The latest information on our winter vaccination programme in Surrey Heartlands can be found on this webpage.

There is also a range of very helpful resources to support you during winter on the Healthy Surrey website.

Children's emotional health and wellbeing

Children's health and wellbeing

You can read information and tips about childrens health on this page of our website.

Children and Young People's Havens

The virtual CYP Havens offer a safe way for 10-18 year olds to talk about their worries & mental health in a confidential, friendly & supportive environment.

For more information about the CYP Havens, please visit the Mindworks Surrey website, the new emotional wellbeing and mental health service for children and young people in Surrey.

You can call them on 01483 519 436 Mondays to Fridays 4pm-8.30pm and on Saturdays & Sundays 12pm-6pm.

Look in on vulnerable neighbours and relatives

Check on older neighbours and relatives, and those with heart or breathing (respiratory) problems, to make sure they:

  • are safe and well.
  • are warm enough, especially at night.
  • have stocks of food and medicines so they do not need to go out during very cold weather.
  • ensure elderly neighbours or relatives are wearing shoes with good grip – to prevent trips and fall. They should also wrap up in warm clothes if going outside. Wearing a scarf over their mouth, will protect cold air getting into their lungs.

If you're worried about a relative or elderly neighbour, contact your local council or call the Age UK helpline on 0800 678 1602 (8am to 7pm every day).

If you're concerned that the person may be suffering from hypothermia, contact NHS 111.

Read these top tips for keeping warm and well this winter.

Keep your home 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.
  • Keep your bedroom at 18C all night if you can – and keep bedroom window closed.
  • If you're under 65, healthy and active, you can safely have your home cooler than 18C, as long as you're comfortable.
  • Use a hot water bottle or electric blanket to keep warm in bed – but do not use both at the same time.
  • Have at least 1 hot meal a day – eating regularly helps keep you warm have hot drinks regularly to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), babies should sleep in rooms heated to between 16C and 20C.
  • Draw curtains at dusk and keep doors closed to block out draughts.
  • Get your heating system checked regularly by a qualified professional.

Local health and welfare support

Surrey County Council have produced a directory of support which provides details on financial, health or general welfare information for local residents.

Action Surrey  provide information and advice on how to keep a home warm and any grants that may be available for replacement boilers and insulation.

You may be eligible for some payments available from the government, such as the winter fuel payment  and cold weather payment .

Age UK Surrey provide information to help people stay safe, warm and well  in the winter. This includes money saving tips and further advice on benefits and grants, advocacy and counselling.

Long-term respiratory conditions

If you have a long-term respiratory condition such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma your symptoms may get worse with colder weather during winter. To manage your symptoms, you must be ‘weather-wise’.

Being weather-wise means:

  • Knowing why it is important to manage your condition during the winter.
  • Having information to manage your condition during the winter months.
  • Making changes to your lifestyle to prevent your condition from getting worse.  

If you do notice your respiratory condition becoming worse, get help as soon as possible because the earlier your symptoms are treated, the quicker you will recover.

Find out more on how to keep well in the cold weather on the 'Asthma + Lung UK' website.