Keep well in winter
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: If you are concerned about the welfare of a vulnerable or elderly person who may not be coping during this cold weather, please call our adult social care team on 0207 364 5005.
Preparing for the wintry season can help minimise the risk of illness and distruption caused by the cold weather. Browse for more on:
As temperatures continue to drop there are a few things you can do to benefit your health and home over the winter months.
Feeling unwell? Don’t wait – get advice from your nearest pharmacist
Speak to your pharmacist about medicines you can stock up on, treatment options for coughs and colds and minor injuries.
If you can’t get to a pharmacist yourself, ask someone to go for you or call your local pharmacy.
Make sure you get your prescription medicines before your pharmacy or GP practice closes for Christmas. You can also order your repeat prescriptions online. To sign up to GP online services ask at your practice or to find out more visit NHS GP online services.
Make sure you get your flu jab
The flu virus strikes in winter and it can lead to serious complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia. That’s why the flu jab is free if you’re aged 65 or over, or if you have a long-term health condition.
Other groups eligible for the free flu vaccine are pregnant women and young children. And if you are the main carer of an older or disabled person you may also be eligible for the free flu jab. Just speak to your GP or pharmacist. You can also find more information on the NHS website.
It is important to keep warm in winter – both inside and outdoors. Keeping warm over the winter months can help to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression.
- Heat your home to at least 18°C (65°F). 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.
- Keep active when you’re indoors. Try not to sit still for more than an hour or so.
- Wear several layers of light clothes. Several layers trap warm air better than one bulky layer.
- Make sure you’re receiving all the help that you’re entitled to. Learn how to make your home more energy efficient, improve your heating and keep up with your energy bills by reading the keep well, keep warm guidance.
- And check your heating and cooking appliances are safe. Contact a Gas Safe registered engineer to make sure they’re operating properly.
How to stay warm
Ensuring your home is as energy efficient as possible can help keep costs down:
- Set your heating: keep warm by setting your heating to the right temperature (18-21°C)
- Take care of those close to you: look out for friends, relatives and neighbours who may be vulnerable to the cold
- Plan ahead: stay tuned to the weather forecast and keep supplies
- Use appliances wisely: ensure your heating and cooking appliances are checked regularly
- Layer up: wear a few layers of thin clothing rather than one thick layer, and when you need to go outside wear shoes with slip resistant, good grip soles.
- Insulate your hot water tank: this will only cost about £10 and you'll get your money back in under a year. Set the thermostat on the hot water tank to 60°C / 140°F
- Radiator shelves and reflectors: putting radiator reflectors or kitchen foil behind the radiator can help heat reflect into a room rather than being lost to the wall or the ceiling
- Room heaters: if you need an individual room heater for additional heat, or if you do not have central heating, the most efficient type is a thermostatically controlled convector heater with timer
- Eat well: regular hot meals and drinks helps keep your energy levels up. Try to make sure you continue eating five fruits and vegetables a day
- Stay active: exercise is always good for you and can help keep you warm. Even if you are indoors, moderate exercise can bring health benefits.
For more information on visit the energy efficiency page.
Winter is the busiest time of year for the NHS, which puts pressure on GPs and hospitals. Many common winter illnesses can be treated at home with over the counter products and rest:
If you need help, call NHS 111 or visit www.nhs.uk who can direct you to a local health service.
We have a winter service procedure in place to deal with frost, hoar frost and snow fall. Find out more on our winter weather and gritting page.
Check out our Veolia UK team out in the borough gritting the streets.
Bad weather shouldn't usually affect your normal collection day but in extreme cases, it might not be possible.
We will reschedule your collection and attempt to pick up the relevant waste items once the weather improves.
If your waste still hasn't been collection, you can report it to us.