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Keeping Well This Winter


Make an appointment with your GP if you are in pain or worried about a condition. Check your GP opening times over Christmas in case you need to contact them. To contact a GP out of hours please call NHS 111 Wales.

Order any repeat prescriptions in advance to make sure you have enough over the Christmas period. Some pharmacies will be open for limited periods over the bank holidays or may be closed completely.

You can get some emergency prescriptions which will cover you for five days. You will only get one if it is a genuine emergency, it is not a controlled drug (e.g. morphine, pethidine, methadone), you go to the pharmacy in person and it is impossible to see your GP. Please note – there may be a charge for this.

Search for your local pharmacy.

If you do not have a dentist or you are experiencing dental pain or trauma out of hours, call CAV 24/7 for the Emergency Dental Helpline on 0300 10 20 247.

If you are spending time away from home this Christmas, make sure you  pack enough medication. It is also important to find out what health services (including GP out of hours) are available in the area you are visiting.

There are certain medicines that you can keep at home in case of minor ailments and illnesses such as colds, headaches or diarrhoea. Make sure that medicines are always stored in a safe place, out of reach from children.

Medicines to stock up on at home include:

  • eye drops
  • antacids
  • paracetamol, aspirin and ibuprofen 
  • antihistamine tablets and cream
  • nasal sprays
  • sore throat and cough lozenges 
  • antiseptic cream
  • plasters
  • thermometer 

It is important that you always read the information leaflets for each medicine and follow the directions on the packaging. Do not exceed the dose stated. Medicines have an expiry date, therefore be sure to check the dates before use and if it is past it’s use-by date replace it. You can take medicines to your pharmacy to be disposed of safely.

Find out more about each of these medicines and what they can be used for on the NHS 111 Wales website


Whether you are cooking at home this Christmas, or reusing leftovers, it’s important to maintain good food hygiene at Christmas by following the ‘4Cs’ of cleaning, chilling, cooking and avoiding cross-contamination.

Learn more about food hygiene on the Food Standards Agency website

If you get food poisoning, you can usually treat yourself or your child at home. Learn more on the NHS 111 Wales Website


You can check how many units are in your drinks by using the alcohol units calculator. Never Drink and Drive. When you are out, keep your drink with you at all times, avoid walking home on your own and keep your personal belongings close to you at all times.

South Wales Police are encouraging us to:

  • Look out for friends and loved ones,
  • Stay together on nights out, 
  • Not leave drinks unattended
  • Not accept any you didn’t see being poured.
  • Plan your journey home in advance

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service have put together twelve 'Elf and safety' tips to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.


There are a number of local groups who you can contact to access additional support.

Symptoms vary considerably for different mental health conditions, but here are some broader signs that you may need support from your GP:

  • excessive paranoia, worry or anxiety
  • prolonged sadness or irritability
  • extreme changes in moods
  • social withdrawal
  • big changes in sleeping or eating patterns


Seeing your GP is an important step to getting the right support. When you speak with your GP, you should be as open and honest as possible about how you’re feeling – this will allow your GP to fully understand your experiences and get you the right help. Feel free to take a family member or friend along for moral support if you feel like it will help.

Every school in our area has access to a school nurse and counsellor, who are able to support children and young people.

The Chat Health Service is also available for 11-19 year-olds in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan. You can text your school nurse on 07520 615718 for confidential advice and support.

Find out more about mental health support for children and young people.

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