​NHS support over the holiday period and winter months

Published on: Monday 24 December 2018

If you want to talk to someone about how you are feeling, the Grenfell NHS outreach team is open every day, including Christmas and New Year, from 9am to 8pm, and at night from 10pm to 7am. They can be called on 020 8962 4393 at any time.

If you or a loved one requires urgent emotional wellbeing support, please contact the specialist health line on 0800 0234 650, open 24 Hours (Including Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day).

If you are feeling down or need urgent help

A 24 hour telephone number to call if you or someone is feeling down or needs urgent emotional help. It is run by the local NHS and is free. The service is confidential and you are not required to give any personal details.

Services can be reached by calling 0800 0234 650 or emailing any day, any time, including weekends and bank holidays. Just tell the call handler you’ve been affected by the Grenfell Tower fire and they will make sure you are referred quickly to the right service and support.

If you know someone who needs urgent help

If you notice someone close to you is struggling to cope or even feeling suicidal, you should contact the 24/7 specialist health line 0800 0234 650 or ask the person you are worried about to call.

Where there is an urgent need, the call handlers will make sure you get the right support, quickly. Not everyone needs specialist emotional health support – for some people, practical help is needed, and others just need someone to talk to.

The Samaritans are always available to call confidentially, 24/7 free on 116 123.

Planning for the winter

Winter can be bad for our health, especially if you’re aged 65 or older or you are someone with a long term health condition. Being cold can raise the risk of increased blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes, and make us more vulnerable to respiratory winter illnesses.

At the first sign of a winter illness, even if it’s just a cough or cold, get advice from your pharmacist before it gets more serious. Pharmacists are qualified to advise you on the best course of action, and can be the best and quickest way to help you recover and get back to normal.

Make sure you get your flu jab, as the flu virus strikes in winter and can lead to serious complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia.

You can get the flu jab for free if you’re aged 65 or over, are a pregnant woman, or have a long term health condition. You may also be eligible for a free flu vaccination if you have young children or grandchildren, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person. Speak to your pharmacist or GP for further information.

Children aged two and three years old can be given the free flu vaccine at their general practice, usually in the form of a nasal spray.

This is a very quick and painless procedure. Nearly all eligible children in reception year and school years 1 to 5 will be offered the flu vaccine in school.

Remember to keep warm, both inside and outdoors. Indoor environments should be 18ºC (65ºF) or higher if possible, and wear several layers of light clothes. Several layers trap warm air better than one bulky layer.

Ask your pharmacist what medicines should be in your medicine cabinet. Many over-the-counter medicines such as paracetamol are available to relieve symptoms of common winter ailments including colds, coughs and sore throats.

Remember to get your prescription medicines before your pharmacy or GP practice closes for Christmas.

For the full range of services available over the holiday period download our new booklet.

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Coping with Grief and Bereavement during the Holiday Season

Published on: Monday 24 December 2018

With holidays upon us some people, especially the bereaved, will find it a sad and difficult time. CRUSE has issued the following advice, but please remember, if you, friends or family require support or help during this period, please give us a call on 020 8962 4393 – from 9am to 8pm, and at night from 10pm to 7am.

Coping at Christmas

Christmas can be a painful time whether it’s your first year without someone who has died, or you were bereaved long ago.

We know that facing Christmas alone, or whilst grieving, can be a daunting prospect. One of the things that can help can be to spend some time trying to work out, well in advance, which arrangements will best suit your needs and the needs of others who share your loss.

Whether to celebrate Some bereaved people find that they do not wish to celebrate Christmas at all, whilst some find that simply maintaining their routine and celebrating as normal is the best tribute they can pay their loved one. It may feel important to make a special effort to remember the person who has died. This can be as simple as ‘speaking’ to the person, silently or out loud, or it may involve visiting their grave, or a place that was special to them. These can be things that we do alone, or with friends or family.

You may have photos or particular memories which you treasure; sharing these with others may be something that brings you together.

Different ways of mourning

We know that people remember and mourn in different ways. Conflict within a family can sometimes arise when we have expectations of how others should grieve, so try to be sensitive to others’ needs, and to talk openly about what will be best for you.

Routine and self-care

The Christmas period may mean that your normal routine is disrupted, and this can make it easier to forget to look after yourself. Trying to keep to regular patterns of sleeping and eating are small things that can make a difference. We can all drink more on festive occasions, but it’s important to remember that using alcohol to escape the pain of loss provides only very temporary relief. Seeing friends or family, or volunteering for the day, can all help.

Memories of time passed

As time passes, special occasions like Christmas can help us to begin to focus on happier memories of good times shared in the past. However, they can also be difficult, intensely emotional times when we need to look after ourselves and those around us.

Download the leaflet.

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NHS booklet of services sent to those affected by the Grenfell Tower Fire

Published on: Tuesday 18 December 2018

NHS booklet of services sent to those affected by the Grenfell Tower Fire

In the run up to Christmas the NHS is sending a booklet describing the services that are available to those affected by the Grenfell Tower Fire to thousands of households and businesses in the area.

The booklet contains information on the full range of emotional wellbeing and physical health services available to the community including details of who to contact during the holiday period.

Dr Oisin Brannick, local GP and clinical lead for North Kensington Recovery, said: “We want everyone to know how they can access a range of services over the winter including the holiday period. The booklet gives advice on how people can access the right NHS service if they or someone they know needs any help. This includes emotional support, our services are available whether someone is simply feeling sad or if they are feeling overwhelmed and need to talk to someone urgently.

The booklet also gives people the opportunity to feedback their views on the longer term North Kensington Health Recovery Plan which has been developed after speaking to lots of people and community groups and people are telling us what they’d like our priorities to be, including:

  • Create services that understand faith, ethnicity, culture and gender.
  • Use social media to engage young people on health and wellbeing.
  • Support people to lead independent and healthy lifestyles.
  • Promote NHS health and wellbeing services better.

We’re hoping to get more people’s views, people can contribute by completing the slip at the back of the booklet and posting it to us for free”.

At the same time, the NHS are promoting the Grenfell Night Service, which is staffed by clinicians for local residents who require urgent advice and support and is available between 10pm and 7am every day by calling 020 8962 4393. Clinicians can also arrange to visit residents at home via the helpline. A new leaflet has been produced to publicise it.

Look out for the booklet in the post this week. It is also available on our website.

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Patients are encouraged to call 111 this winter to ease pressure on NHS services.

Published on: Tuesday 4 December 2018

Patients are encouraged to call 111 this winter to ease pressure on NHS services.

The NHS has launched their winter campaign ‘Help Us Help You know what to do’ designed to help keep you well and help keep our NHS services running well this winter.

The campaign aims to increase peoples’ understanding of the actions they can take to help the NHS help them. This could be visiting the pharmacist at the first sign of illness, managing symptoms at home, getting the flu jab, self-care or using NHS 111 for help.

NHS 111 is free to call for advice about an urgent health concern and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

NHS 111 now offers the public a much more comprehensive service and is much more than just a helpline; patients can speak to a fully trained advisor quickly. They will assess symptoms and, depending on the situation will provide self-care advice, transfer patients to a relevant healthcare professional, including nurses, emergency dentists or even GPs.

The advisors can also arrange face-to-face appointments, give directions to local services that can help best with a concern, and if assessed as needing an ambulance, one can be sent directly. Whatever the need is, NHS 111 will ensure the right care is given, from the right person, as quickly as possible.

Tricia Mukherjee, Head of Nursing, Emergency and Ambulatory care at Northwick Park Hospital in Harrow explained, ‘often people don’t know where to turn for medical advice and can end up at A&E unnecessarily. NHS 111 is an excellent service and one of the most effective ways to get medical advice or speak to a clinician quickly, especially over the Christmas period.

Calling 111 will make it easier and faster to get in touch with local health services. People should call 111 if they need advice or medical treatment quickly and cannot wait for an appointment to see the doctor.’

There are many things people can do to stay well this winter, click here for information. If you do become unwell and don’t know who to phone for medical help or need information about a health issue call 111 ‘Help Us Help You know what to do.’

For more information on NHS 111 visit

Help Us Help You (1)
NHS 111

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