94658.02 GM winter web page

Cold weather can be seriously bad for your health. That's why it's important to keep yourself, families and friends healthy. In this section you can find out how to protect yourself against the season’s common ailments and help make sure you stay well here in Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale this winter.

Read more about:

  • Protection from flu
  • Pharmacy advice and opening times
  • Christmas GP opening hours
  • GP extended hours
  • Keep warm and well
  • 111


Protect you and your family from flu

94658.02 GM winter twitter Animated generalA dose of flu can really give you the blues, so getting vaccinated against the virus is the best way to help protect yourself and friends and family.

In Greater Manchester there are one million free
flu vaccinations available to residents who could
be ‘at risk’ of developing severe complications
from it such as bronchitis, pneumonia, the worsening of an existing condition or
even death.


People eligible for a free flu vaccination include:

  • Healthy children aged two to three years-old or in school years reception, one, two, three and four
  • People aged over 65
  • People aged 6 months to 65 years old with underlying medical conditions such as heart problems, asthma or disabilities
  • Pregnant women
  • Carers
  • People living in long-stay residential care homes or other long-term care facilities
  • People with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40+

It is important everyone who is eligible for the flu vaccination takes up the offer.

This year we’re encouraging more healthy children to get the vaccination to help prevent the virus spreading to other vulnerable people. A quick and painless nasal spray vaccination is available for children and it does not contain the live flu virus, so they definitely cannot catch the flu from it.

Make an appointment with your GP practice now or visit your pharmacy to book in to get the flu vaccination. Remember, to be protected you need to have the vaccine every year as flu is unpredictable and previous years’ vaccinations may not protect you against the types of flu going around this year.


Get expert advice from pharmacists

Pharmacists can give you expert medical advice on a range of common winter conditions and minor injuries, such as sore throat, coughs, colds, flu, earache, aches,pains and skin rashes.

Male BMEThey can also advise you on which medicines you should have in stock to help get you and your family through the winter season. Remember to pick up prescription medications before the Christmas holidays start, especially if you are 65 or over or have a long term health condition such as a lung disease, diabetes, heart or kidney disease.

You don't need an appointment to see a pharmacist, so if you start to feel unwell, even if it is just a cough or cold, don’t wait until it gets more serious, ask them for help. The sooner you get advice the better. Read more here.

You can find details of pharmacy opening times over the Christmas and New Year holidays on this page here.

Antibiotics are not effective against viral infections like most colds and flu, and most sore throats or ear infections - conditions which are very common in winter and can
be treated with over the counter remedies available from your local pharmacy.

GPs in Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale have introduced a simple blood test to help decide if patients really need antibiotics to treat their symptoms. To find out all you need to know about the testing, we’ve put together information here.


Check Christmas GP opening hours

It is important to know that there will be changes to opening times for some local healthcare services during the festive period, with closures on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day. 

December 24th, 27th, 28th and 31st are all normal working days, so GP surgeries will be open as normal 8am-6.30pm. Appointments will be available at 'extended hours hubs' in the Rochdale borough on December 25th (6.30pm-9pm) and on December 26th and January 1st (8am-6pm).

For GP and nurse appoinments at all other times, please see the 'extended hours hub' information below.


Visit extended hours hubs in Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale for out of hours appointments

GMCSU HMR CCG 6 2You can book to see a GP or Practice Nurse at evenings, weekends and on bank holidays.

Appointments are available at hub locations across the borough at the following times:

6.30pm - 9pm on weekdays
8am - 6pm on Saturdays and bank holidays
10am - 1pm on Sundays

To book an appointment at an extended hours hub, please call the
central booking line on 0161 763 8292. Urgent on the day
appointments may be subject to triage. 



Keep warm and well 

stay warm and wellIt is important to keep warm in winter – both inside and outdoors as it 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) and try to have regular hot meals and drinks through the day to give you energy. Make sure you’re receiving all the help to heat your home that you are entitled to. Find out more here.



NHS 111 for urgent help by phone or online

Twitter website card 800 x 418 0 00 00 009111 is the NHS service if you need help urgently, but it's not
an emergency. It's fast, easy and free.

You can call 111 and speak to a highly trained adviser, supported by healthcare professionals. They will ask you a series of questions
to assess your symptoms and immediately direct you to the best medical care for you. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.

You can also get medical help or advice from 111 online using your smartphone, laptop or other digital device. The service is free to use and helps to direct patients to the right care, first time. Patients can use the online service to answer questions about their symptoms; find out where to get the right healthcare in their area; get advice on self care; and get further advice from a nurse or doctor on the phone or during a consultation


#HMRHealthyAdvent Calendar

Join us on Twitter from 1 Dec 2018 for our HMR Healthy Advent calendar. Each day we'll be sharing tips and advice on how you and your family can stay well through the festive season and beyond. Follow us on Twitter @NHSHMR. The campaign hashtag is #HMRHealthyAdvent - check it out and join the conversation.


For further advice, visit and
the Rochdale Borough Council website








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