Health Ready

Cold weather can be bad for our health, especially for people aged 65 and older. As we age, it takes longer to warm up, which raises the risk of increased blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes.

For more information about how to stay warm and well in winter, visit Age UK's website Age UK's website, call 0800 587 0668 or visit the NHS website

Other useful links:

COVID-19 advise and support

The Cumbria County Council support line can help if you are struggling because of COVID-19. This might be because: 

  • You are struggling to afford food or other essentials. 
  • You have COVID-19, are self-isolating, and need help with shopping. 
  • You can't work out where best to get information and advice. 

Call the team on 0800 783 1966 (Monday to Thursday 9.00am to 5.00pm, Friday 9.00am to 4.30pm). 

Vaccination 

The COVID-19 vaccination programme is already protecting people across Cumbria. 

Currently, everyone aged 16+ is eligible for the COVID vaccine.

If you haven't already, book your COVID-19 vaccine appointment online or look for details of local drop-ins. You don't need to be registered with a GP or know your NHS number

If you cannot book appointments online, you can call 119 free of charge. You can also speak to a translator if you need to.

If you have difficulties communicating or hearing or are a British Sign Language (BSL) user, you can use textphone 18001 119 or the NHS 119 BSL interpreter service.

Remember: The COVID-19 vaccine will only be available via the NHS. 

  • The COVID-19 vaccine will always be available free of charge from the NHS. 
  • The NHS will never ask you to share your bank details to confirm your identity.

For more information on scams and how to report them, visit the Action Fraud website 

Protecting each other during the pandemic

There are simple actions we can all follow to protect each other during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wash your hands frequently, wear face coverings in indoor areas such as shops, social distance and let fresh air in if you do meet others indoors. 

Most COVID-19 infections in Cumbria are now caused by the new, more infectious variant, and so it's more important than ever to be careful about the basics to limit the spread of the virus.

Regular rapid lateral flow testing can help keep you and others safe by identifying asymptomatic cases of covid. You can get a box of home tests at your local pharmacy or order online at GOV.uk 

If you develop symptoms 

One of the most important ways to stop the spread of COVID-19 is to self-isolate (stay at home) for 10 days and get a PCR test if you experience any of the main symptoms: a continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss or change in taste or smell. You should get a test even if your symptoms are mild. 

If someone you live with has symptoms of COVID-19, or has tested positive for COVID-19, you will not need to self-isolate if any of the following apply:

  • you're fully vaccinated - this means 14 days have passed since your final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine given by the NHS
  • you're under 18 years, 6 months old
  • you're taking part or have taken part in a COVID-19 vaccine trial
  • you're not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

Even if you do not have symptoms, you should still:

  • book a PCR test at GOV.UK to check if you have COVID-19
  • follow advice on how to avoid catching and spreading COVID-19
  • consider limiting contact with people who are at higher risk from COVID-19

You can book a test on the NHS website, or by calling 119 or by visiting the Gov.uk website 

If you are invited to an appointment, please make sure you go unless you are showing symptoms of COVID-19.

The flu vaccine is a safe and effective vaccine. It's offered every year on the NHS to help protect people at risk of getting seriously ill from flu.

The best time to have the flu vaccine is in the autumn or early winter before flu starts spreading. But you can get the vaccine later.

Flu vaccine and coronavirus (COVID-19)

Flu vaccination is important because: 

  • More people are likely to get flu this winter as fewer people will have built up natural immunity to it during the COVID-19 pandemic 
  • If you get flu and COVID-19 at the same time, research shows you're more likely to be seriously ill 
  • Getting vaccinated against flu and COVID-19 will provide protection for you and those around you for both these serious illnesses

If you've had COVID-19, it's safe to have the flu vaccine. It will still be effective at helping to prevent flu.

Visit NHS to find out if you're eligible for a free flu vaccination

Important

It's important to go to your vaccination appointments unless you or someone you live with has symptoms of COVID-19.

You can have the NHS flu vaccine at: 

  • Your GP surgery 
  • A pharmacy offering the service 
  • Your midwifery service if you're pregnant 
  • Children will be offered it at school (look out for the consent forms)

If you do not have your flu vaccine at your GP surgery, you do not have to tell the surgery. This will be done for you.

Flu and the flu vaccine - Your guide to flu symptoms and the flu vaccine, including who should have the vaccine this winter.

The NHS is here to support you and you should still seek help if you need support with your mental or physical health. 

Please choose wisely and use the most appropriate services for your needs: 

  • Visit NHS website or call 111 for 24-hour advice if you need help but aren't sure where to get it. 
  • Pharmacy - trained professionals can provide advice and guidance for many common conditions.
  • GP - for ongoing or persistent medical issues. 
  • Urgent Treatment Centres - can help with urgent but not life-threatening issues. 
  • A&E - for life-threatening and serious emergencies only.

Other useful links: 

Mental health and wellbeing 

There are many things that can affect your mental health, particularly if you are dealing with financial problems. It's normal and there is help available. 

If someone is in a mental health crisis and needs urgent help, they can call their local Crisis Team 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: 

  • People in North Cumbria can call 0800 6522 865. (Those who are Deaf/hard of hearing can text 0779 565 6226.) 
  • People in South Cumbria can call 0800 953 0110. 

NHS psychological therapies services in Cumbria can provide treatments for a range of common mental health problems including depression, anxiety disorders and panic attacks, and post-traumatic stress disorder. You can refer yourself for support or ask your GP to make a referral for you. 

For more details: 

If you need to talk to someone urgently, the Samaritans are available 24/7 on 116 123.

Mindline Cumbria offers support and guidance about mental health over the phone on 0300 561 0000 or text 'Mind' to 81066. You can also go online and chat to trained professionals.

Togetherall is a service offering free online support to anyone aged 16 and over, 24/7 in North Cumbria. It provides online peer-peer support, access to an anonymous community and lots of information, as well as courses and resources covering a range of mental health and wellbeing topics.

Kooth is a free online service for young people over 11. Go to kooth.com. 

Every Life Matters have produced a guide to looking after yourself and others. It contains practical information about things you can do now to look after your mental health and wellbeing, and how you can support others. Call 07908 537541. 

There are also self-help guides provided by the Cumbria, Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust covering several topics including depression, domestic abuse, eating disorders or stress. 

Useful links: 

  • Winter blues? - How to spot the warning signs of winter depression and tips to beat it

Staying safe from abuse

Everyone has the right to live safely without fear of violence or abuse, and even with COVID-19 restrictions in place, you can leave home to seek help if you are suffering abuse. 

Always call 999 in an emergency if someone is at immediate risk of harm.

If you, or someone you know is suffering from domestic abuse, help is available. Call 101, or report online at cumbria.police.uk. You can also contact Victim Support Cumbria on 0300 3030 157. 

If you have significant concerns about a child please contact the Cumbria Safeguarding Hub, on 0333 240 1727. 

If you are concerned that an adult is at risk of abuse or neglect, please call: 

  • Copeland and Allerdale 0300 303 3589. 
  • Carlisle and Eden 0300 303 3249. 
  • Furness and South Lakes 0300 303 2704.
  • Out of Hours 01228 526690.

Bereavement support

The death of a loved one can be among the most difficult moments that any of us will face in our lives. If you've lost a loved one, you can get free specialist support by ringing the Cruse helpline on 0808 808 1677. More sources of support can be found within the Public Health section.

If you have been affected by the tragedy of suicide, whether you have lost a family member, friend or colleague then Suicide Bereavement Support (SBS) is here to help you. 

Find out more at Suicide Bereavement Support or call/text 07572 975 721/07896 703 757. Alternatively, email hello@sbs.org.uk

Disability Support

The following specialist organisations Cumbria provide support and advice to people with disabilities: