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The nights have begun to draw in and the weather has taken a turn for the worst. Yes, winter is upon us.

And with the cold comes added pressure on the health and social care system.

We are making preparations to make sure people across Greater Manchester stay well this winter and can get the help they need if they do fall ill.

Yet, we all have a part to play and you can Help Us Help You as the mercury drops.

Try your local pharmacy first if you’re feeling under the weather. They’re your fastest route to help and advice.

Keep a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home, and take all medicines that are prescribed to you.

Keep warm and eat well to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems – cold weather can be harmful, so heat your home to at least 18°C.

Look out for family, friends and neighbours who may be more at risk over winter.

Book a free flu jab if you’re a carer, over the age of 65, pregnant, or have a long-term health condition like asthma or diabetes.

Toddlers aged 2 and 3 should have the free nasal flu vaccination – available at GP surgeries. Children (from reception up to year five) will receive the flu vaccination at school, with parental consent.

If you need medical help and it’s not a 999 emergency, call NHS 111, go to or download the new NHS app (from the Google and Apple app stores).

For more information visit