Keep warm and well

Flu jab
Flu jab
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DOCTOR CALLING: A weekly column by Dr Kevin Hill, chairman of South Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group, addressing topical health issues

With winter upon us, the NHS is urging people to take five simple steps to stay warm and well.

Get your free flu jab if you’re 65 or over, pregnant, have certain medical conditions, live in a residential or nursing home, or are the main carer for an older person or someone with disabilities.

Set your heating to temperatures of between 18 and 21C.

Layer your clothing and wear shoes with a good grip.

Keep active and have hot meals and drinks throughout the day.

Find out about benefits to make your home more energy efficient, improve your heating and help with your bills.

You can prevent colds and flu spreading by covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze, throwing away used tissues as soon as possible, washing your hands regularly with soap and water, and stocking up on over-the-counter cough and cold remedies.

You should also keep active and eat a varied diet of hot food including five daily portions of fruit and veg. You should wear lots of thin layers of clothing.

Parents of children under four, and women who are at least 10 weeks’ pregnant and claiming certain benefits, may be eligible for free weekly Health Start vouchers which can be swapped for milk, fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables, infant formula milk and vitamins. To find out more, visit www.healthystart.nhs.uk or call 0845 607 6823.

People born on or before January 5, 1952 could be eligible for a Winter Fuel Payment of up to £300. For more information, visit www.gov.uk/winter-fuel-payment or call 08459 15 15 15.

The new Energy Company Obligation requires the largest domestic energy suppliers to fund home energy efficiency improvements for certain consumers.

To find out if you’re eligible, call the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234.