Doncaster Be Winter Well

The winter months can be difficult for many of us with shorter days, cooler temperatures and the inevitable colds, bugs and seasonal flu that begin to circulate. This year we have the added issue of the coronavirus to deal with too.

This year’s winter campaign focuses on giving people a wide variety of useful health and wellbeing information and signposting them to all the support services available, as well as giving practical advice on how people can help themselves to stay safe and well over the winter months.

Organisations from across various sectors have joined forces to ensure residents have all the information they need in one place by visiting A handy winter booklet which helps everyone find information on support networks, wellbeing and remaining safe and well.

 There are a number of things you can do to look after your health and we will be focusing on the specific themes. Here’s a taster of what you will see over the coming weeks:
Medication requests
  • Be prepared with essential medicines and supplies in case you get ill. Useful items include aspirin, paracetamol, anti-diarrhoeal medicine, cough medicine, plasters, thermometer and antiseptic cream.
  • This year, we have a four-day Christmas weekend so please take time to ensure you have enough medication and order any prescriptions you may need early.
Using online health services
  • Sign up to your local practice’s online services so you can easily order medication, book appointments and view test results quickly. For more information visit your practice’s website.
  • If you know a family member or neighbour doesn’t have access to or uses the internet, share local health or coronavirus guidance with them so they are up to date with the latest news.
Choosing the right service
  • Primary Care across Doncaster is open for business and has adapted to help you stay safe whilst we’re living with the coronavirus pandemic. To help protect you and staff, if you need medical advice or treatment, you may be triaged and consulted over the phone and only seen in person if necessary.
  • If you need urgent healthcare in Doncaster there are lots of options, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Same Day Health Centre, local pharmacist, and the GP Out of Hours service can offer advice and treat urgent conditions; there is always one of these services open in Doncaster.
Supporting and looking out for vulnerable people
  • If you know someone who is frail or elderly or has an existing health problem and they are feeling unwell, encourage them to seek early advice, go to their local pharmacy or call their local practice before the issue escalates and they end up in hospital.
  • The sense of community spirit has really grown over this difficult year. Let’s continue with that and check in with vulnerable neighbours and family to ensure they are safe and well, keeping warm enough and have sufficient stocks of food and medicines.
Flu vaccinations

Flu can be serious and even deadly for older adults, very young children, and people with underlying health conditions. The flu vaccine is the best protection for you and those around you. That’s why it’s free to those most at risk. If you’re in an eligible group – make sure you get vaccinated.

COVID-19 booster dose

Across Doncaster the COVID-19 booster programme is now underway for all eligible people as an additional vaccine dose to people who have previously received two doses. This is a top up, to ensure continued protection for those most at risk from COVID-19 especially over the winter period.  Those eligible for a booster dose of the vaccine include; those over 50s, people over 16 with an underlying health condition that might put them at high risk of getting seriously ill from Covid-19 and all health and social care workers. People will only be able to book an appointment for a booster dose if it’s been at least 6 months since their second dose of the vaccine.

COVID-19 vaccinations

The COVID-19 vaccine is available in at all adults in Doncaster in line with Government and latest JCVI advice. Find out more.

COVID-19 Vaccinations for Children aged 12 to 15 years 

The NHS is offering COVID-19 vaccination to children and young people. All children aged 12 to 15 will be offered a 1st dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.  Those children aged 12 to 15 years at increased risk from infection will need 2 doses of the vaccine 8 weeks apart.

Stay mentally well

Winter can be a very lonely time for people with no family nearby. Please take time to check in safely with your neighbours who may be elderly or vulnerable.

The dark winter months can bring a host of mental health issues to the forefront of our minds. Be kind to yourself and make time for things that make you happy. From a simple cuppa, to a warm bath, take moments to have some calm time and a break away from the stresses of everyday life.

If you need help and support with your mental health or know someone who does there is lots of useful information and advice, you can contact one of the many mental health services that Doncaster has to offer.

Ask your local pharmacist

Pharmacists are qualified healthcare professionals with a wealth of expertise to give you the right help and support with no need for an appointment.

If symptoms suggest your issue is something more serious, pharmacists will be able to advise if you do need to see a GP.

Across Doncaster we have lots of local pharmacies, with many open until late and at weekends. Most have a private consultation room where you can discuss your ailments without being overheard.

As we approach winter, colds and tummy bugs often increase in circulation and it’s important that people recognise when they’re feeling unwell early enough to be able to get help.

Anyone can go to any pharmacist for advice or to get the right medicines. By consulting with them first it helps to make GP appointments available for people with more complex healthcare needs. Your GP practice itself may actually refer you to a pharmacy for a consultation if you have a minor condition.

Know your symptoms

And finally, remind yourself of the symptoms of cold, flu and coronavirus. These illnesses are caused by different viruses but have similar symptoms so it’s important to know what symptoms to look out for:

    • Common cold – stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat, sore head
    • Flu – sudden fever, chills, aching muscles, tiredness/exhaustion, headache
    • Coronavirus – high temperature, new, continuous cough, loss of or change in taste or smell

We can get through winter together by looking after ourselves, looking after each other, by following the guidance and using the right service to help you keep fit and well

We can also help protect ourselves this winter by remembering to wash hands thoroughly on a regular basis and to always wear face coverings in all healthcare settings such as GP practices, hospitals and crowded public places

Other useful information from Doncaster Metropolitan Council 

  • Advice and Support for the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable: This page contains advice, support and frequently asked questions for those who have been identified as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable to Coronavirus.
  • Vaccinations: Find the latest information on vaccinations and local pop-ups.
  • Testing: For information on symptomatic and asymptomatic testing as well as where our Agile Testing Unit will be this week.
  • Self-Isolation: If you have been told to isolate either because you have tested positive or have symptoms, you can find support and information on Doncaster Council’s dedicated self-isolation page.
  • Gritting: Find out about the Council’s gritting programme, apply for gritting and request snow clearance on Doncaster Council’s gritting page.
  • Get ready for winter: To help you better prepare for the winter ahead, the get ready for winter page contains some important information, contacts and web links.
  • FAQ’s: To understand the current government guidance on coronavirus, visit Doncaster Council’s FAQ’s.
  • FIS: Families Information Service provides information, advice and guidance for parents, carers, practitioners, children and young people on a wide range of services and activities/events available in Doncaster and beyond.
  • Winter Warmth: Doncaster Council has tips and advice that could help you stay warm, save money and improve your physical and mental health. Hopefully, Doncaster Council’s Energy Saving Advice and Grants page will help you to be more comfortable, warmer and safer in your home.
  • Debt Advice and Money Advice: For Debt and Money Advice over the winter period you can visit our dedicated page on Your Life Doncaster.

Doncaster Council services over the winter

In previous winters Doncaster, like much of the UK, suffered from severe bouts of weather which caused disruption and had dramatic effects on everyday life. To help you better prepare for winter ahead, Doncaster Council have a dedicated web page containing important information, contacts and web links which may be helpful to bookmark.