Please support your local NHS Charity, caring for your community

Keep warm this winter

Published: 13 December 2017

Please be cautious and ensure you keep warm and protect yourself against the cold, this winter. Especially if you are over 65, or have long term conditions such as: COPD, bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, diabetes or heart or kidney disease, where the cold can affect your health. By keeping warm you can help prevent the usual winter bugs such as colds, coughs and flu, as well as the more serious health problems such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression.

Here are some tips to keep warm

  • Heat your home to at least 18C to minimise the risk to health, if heating the whole house is a problem heat the living room during the day and your bedroom just before you go to sleep.
  • Keep your bedroom window closed on winter nights. Breathing cold air can be bad for your health as it increases the risk of chest infections.
  • Keep active when you’re indoors. Try not to sit still for more than an hour or so.
  • Wear a few layers of thin clothing rather than one thick layer, and when you need to go outside wear shoes with slip resistant, good grip soles
  • Have all gas, solid fuel and oil burning appliances (i.e. boilers, heaters, cookers) serviced by a registered engineer. For more information, visit
  • Improve your heating by looking at efficiencies and ensure you keep up with your energy bill. For more information, visit
  • Keep an eye on older friends and neighbours, especially those with existing health conditions.
  • Protect water pipes from freezing by insulating them.
  • Make sure you’re receiving all the help that you’re entitled to.
  • Make sure you have had your flu jab.
For more information on protecting yourself this winter, visit the NHS winter pages.


If you do need treatment for an illness or condition that is not life threatening, please check which service would be best for you. Please go to Choose Well pages on New Devon CCG website. There are several options on which services are available in the area, these include: Pharmacies, GPs, NHS 111, MIU or ED (please be aware, we do not have Walk-in centres in Torbay or South Devon, however our MIUs can help). If you click on one of the services, examples of the types of illnesses and conditions that can be treated are shown to give you a better idea.

Please note: If you need medical help fast, but it’s not a 999 emergency, call NHS 111 and they will direct you to the right service.