Help us to help you – choose the right healthcare this winter

Stockport Council and its health partners recently launched a winter campaign to help Stockport residents stay safe and well as the weather gets colder.

With just 6 weeks until Christmas (yes, that’s right), you might have some queries regarding which healthcare services are right for your issues this winter. A&E isn’t always the best place to get help as there are lots of different providers that can help you if you have a minor injury or ailment.

Firstly, it’s important to remember that you should always go to A&E if the situation is an emergency or is life-threatening. Your hospital is there to help you when you need it, despite ongoing COVID-19 pressures, so please don’t put off going if you feel you truly need to visit.

In the event of a non-life-threatening illness or minor injury, there are lots of alternative to A&E that may be useful to note. Call NHS 111 First or visit in the first instance: they can help to triage the problem and advise whether you need to go to hospital or seek alternative treatment. They may also offer advice as to at-home tips you can follow to ease symptoms.

Your pharmacist can also give free, practical advice. Pharmacists are clinically trained professionals, who can offer help with a range of common illnesses and conditions such as aches and pains, colds, coughs, cystitis, earache, indigestion, skin rashes, sore throat and warts.

With Self-Care Week from 15th November, it’s also important that we all take steps towards improving our own health and wellbeing this winter, to help minimise pressures on our primary care services. Simple steps like making sure you have medications like paracetamol and cold and flu medication in case you’re unable to go out can make a real difference. Further information to help with winter chills and snuffles go to

Dr Cath Munro, Chair of NHS Stockport Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “There are lots of healthcare professionals who can help you with minor ailments such as your local pharmacist who has the expertise and experience to advise you. NHS 111 First is open 24 hours a day for any health problems you or a member of your family may have. But if you find any new lumps or an ailment that doesn’t go away with self care, please make an appointment to talk to your GP.”

Councillor Jude Wells, Cabinet Member for Adult Care and Health, said: “We all want to do our bit to help minimise the pressures on our services this winter, and make sure those who need urgent care are able to access it quickly. In Stockport, we’re lucky enough to have fantastic primary care teams. Make sure you’re prepared for the colder weather and the increased spread of viral illnesses we often see in winter, by stocking up on medication and being aware of all the different routes to care available to you and your family.”

If you feel unwell, always take a PCR test to rule out COVID-19 first, even if you don’t think you have any of the symptoms. To book a COVID-19 PCR test online visit:

For more information on staying safe and well this winter, visit: