Staying well in winter

Cold weather can seriously endanger your health if you're an older or vulnerable person. But there are things you can do protect yourself and stay well this winter.

You can get lots of help and advice on this winter from NHS Stay Well.

Tips for staying well this winter

It is expected that many respiratory germs including COVID-19 and flu will be circulating this winter. It is therefore important to take up any vaccines you are invited to have by the NHS if you can have them.

Flu vaccine

It is important for you to get your flu vaccine if you are eligible. It's the best way to protect yourself and those around you from the flu.

The flu vaccine is offered every year as the vaccine changes slightly to ensure the best protection is offered. Flu infection can make some people very poorly and need hospital admission. Sometimes it can be life threatening.

If you get flu and COVID-19 infection at the same time, you are more likely to become seriously ill. Having the flu vaccine will help to reduce the risk of you catching or passing on flu or becoming seriously ill.

If you are eligible to have the flu vaccination because you live with someone who is more likely to get a severe infection you may not be automatically invited. Find out more about the NHS flu vaccination programme.

You can get your flu vaccine at your GP surgery, pharmacies that offer NHS flu jab vaccinations and some maternity services if you are pregnant.

Children and young people

GPs will again be inviting all 2 and 3 year-old children to have a flu vaccination. This vaccination, like all other routine childhood vaccinations is free, so you do not need to pay. The flu vaccination is also offered to all primary school pupils and some secondary school aged children.


People who are most at risk of severe illness from COVID-19 will be offered an autumn COVID-19 vaccine. This will help to protect you from serious illness if you become infected with COVID-19.

The COVID-19 vaccines will be offered in a variety of settings across Derbyshire. You will be able to choose from the online National Booking Service, the most appropriate venue for you. If you're eligible to have the COVID-19 vaccination because you live with someone who is more likely to get a severe infection you may not be automatically invited.

There is more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, who is eligible, and how to book.

If you're invited for your COVID-19 vaccine please take up this offer to help keep you, and people around you, protected.

Vaccines during pregnancy

During pregnancy you may not be as able to fight off infections as easily as non-pregnant women. This could lead to you becoming more seriously ill from flu or COVID-19.

It is recommended that all pregnant women have a flu, COVID-19, and whooping cough vaccine. If you have any questions about vaccinations in pregnancy please discuss this with your midwife.

Find out more about vaccinations in pregnancy.

Stay safe and well

As well as getting your free flu and COVID-19 vaccinations, there are lots of other ways to help you and others stay safe and well this winter:

  • try to keep rooms at 18°C
  • try to make sure that you have hot meals and drinks regularly throughout the day
  • keep active in the home if you can
  • wash your hands often with soap and water
  • keep your home well ventilated if you have visitors
  • use disposable tissues to catch sneezes and put them straight in the bin as it can help to limit the spread of germs
  • stay at home if you are not well
  • make sure you have enough medications available in case you are unable to get out in icy or cold weather and over the Christmas holiday period
  • make sure you have enough food to keep you going if you are unable to get out in cold weather
  • look out for others by checking in on older neighbours or relatives, especially those who live alone or who have serious illness to make sure they are safe, warm and well

Advice on how to keep yourself and your home warm and well in winter can be found on the Derbyshire County Council website.

Visit NHS for more advice on keeping well in winter.

Joined Up Care Derbyshire also has lots of advice and help on how you can keep yourself, and others, healthy, warm and well this winter.

Mental health and wellbeing

Winter can be a difficult time but there is support available if your mental health and wellbeing is being impacted. See Derbyshire County Council's website for more information on how to get support. 


The festive season may bring up feelings of loneliness or isolation for many people.

Warm and welcoming spaces offer a place for people to meet, chat and get support and information around a wide range of different topics.

Find out more about the support on offer to help tackle loneliness.

Seasonal affective disorder

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is sometimes known as 'winter depression' because the symptoms are usually more apparent and more severe during the winter.

Getting help

Register yourself or others for priority services with your utility providers if you or they are in an at risk group. The Priority Services Register is a free support service that makes sure extra help is available to people in vulnerable situations. Ofgem has more information on who may be eligible and what kind of support you might get.

It's important to get advice early if you are unwell and 65 or over or at in an at risk group.

You can get help and advice from:

  • a pharmacy – pharmacists can give treatment advice for a range of minor illnesses and can tell you if you need to see a doctor
  • your GP – you may be able to speak to a GP online or over the phone, or go in for an appointment if they think you need to
  • NHS 111 – go to or tel: 111 if you have an urgent medical problem and you're not sure what to do

The sooner you get advice, the sooner you are likely to get better.