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NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Clinical Commissioning Group (NHS HMR CCG) has launched a local campaign to help residents throughout the borough to keep healthy, at home and out of hospital this winter.

Its message is to stay well this winter and encourages people most at risk from cold weather to get ready for the lower temperatures.

Part of a national NHS campaign, the CCG is supporting the stay well messages in national newspapers and on TV screens in a bid to keep local people healthy and to alert them to extended hours hubs which offer GP and nurse appointments in the evening, at weekends and on bank holidays.

Four extended access ‘hubs’ – two in Rochdale and one each in Middleton and Heywood – are staffed by local GPs to offer patients the convenience of an appointment out of usual surgery hours. There are also a number of ‘on the day’ slots at the hubs to allow for more urgent access to an NHS clinician. Patients can book by ringing the central booking line on 0161 763 8292.

The hubs are available at the following locations:
Peterloo Medical Centre - Middleton
The Kingsway Practice – Rochdale
Littleborough Group Practice - Rochdale
Birtle View Medical Practice – Heywood

The opening times for GP access at all four sites are:
Monday to Friday 6.30pm – 9.00pm
Saturday 8.00am – 6.00pm
Sunday 10.00am – 1.00pm
Bank Holidays 8.00am – 6.00pm

Nurse appointments are available at all sites on Saturdays 8am-11am and 11.30am-2.30pm.

Rochdale residents are also reminded that pharmacists are high street health experts and can offer advice on many common winter health conditions, including colds and flu, and provide guidance on effective over the counter remedies.

Pharmacy opening times over the festive period can be found here and at www.hmr.nhs.uk/pharmacies

Stay well campaign messages are included in the CCG’s public newsletter Livin it; on posters and screens in GP surgeries; on its website; in local newspapers; and at outdoor advertising sites such as billboards, bus shelters and phone boxes across the borough.

NHS HMR CCG Chair and local GP, Dr Chris Duffy, said: “We hope that our local campaign will reinforce the national messages and encourage local people to take practical steps to keep well and stay healthy this winter. This year we have used local GPs from Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale so that local patients can relate to the campaign. Tips for keeping well include having your flu jab, staying warm, checking on elderly friends and neighbours and stocking up on your prescriptions and over the counter remedies in time for the holidays.

“We also want to tell local people about the range of options available to help them stay well this winter. Our extended hours hubs can offer appointments in the evening, at weekends and on bank holidays, and some ‘on the day’ slots are available too. Access the hubs by ringing 0161 763 8292 or your own GP surgery.

“Also important are local pharmacists, who are very knowledgeable about many common winter ailments. They can give very useful medical advice and recommend treatments for minor health conditions.”

The national campaign, Stay Well This Winter, was launched by NHS England and Public Health England as a result of experts concluding that winter can have a serious impact on health, particularly for the elderly and those with long-term health conditions, and thousands die unnecessarily.

Dr Duffy, continued: “If we can help to prevent local people from becoming acutely ill over the winter and thus avoiding a hospital admission and better still, avoiding an unnecessary death, the campaign will have met its objectives. We would urge people to take the necessary precautions and also to help check on the frail and elderly to ensure they are too.”

For further information visit www.hmr.nhs.uk or www.nhs.uk/staywell

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