Over the busy Christmas period, it's easy to forget to look after your health. Don't forget to check you have enough of any important medicines to keep you going while GP practices and pharmacies are closed.
It is also a good idea to have a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home to help you with pain relief and minor injuries.
You can now use several apps and websites to order online
You, or a friend or relative, can collect your medicines from a pharmacy or have them delivered to your home (where available).
Community pharmacies will be open all over Sussex but will be operating at different hours than usual during the Christmas period.
For details of pharmacies that are open over the festive period please click the links below:
Sussex – Christmas and New Year Pharmacy bank holiday opening times
Emergency services - NHS 111
Our Emergency Departments are here for you when you need them, but they are very busy.
If you need help over the winter, call 111 or visit NHS 111 online
It’s free to call from landlines and mobiles and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
NHS 111 is a non-emergency service you can use if you are unsure which healthcare service you need to visit. It can connect you to healthcare professionals, including nurses, emergency dentists or GPs.
The advisors at NHS111 can also arrange face-to-face appointments, and if assessed as needing an ambulance, send one directly. A call back by a clinician can also be requested using NHS111 online, based on health care need.
More information about NHS 11 can be found on this Healthwatch webpage
If you are struggling to breathe and have: a tight chest, chest pain or you are being sick Please call 999 immediately.
If you need urgent care: click this link to find locations of suitable services near you.
Mental health services
If you are struggling, you're not alone. The Sussex Mental Healthline offers a listening ear for anyone experiencing difficulties with their mental health. Call 0800 0309 500 for free.
The Samaritans provide help and support to people in a crisis 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Contact them by phone on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org
Mind offer a wide range of information including details of local contacts and support groups. Call 0300 123 3393 or visit www.mind.org.uk
Looking after your physical health this winter
The cold weather, being stuck at home and all the tempting food around the festive season can play havoc with our physical health so it’s important to take steps to stay active and healthy this winter.
Here are some national resources to help you stay physically healthy this winter:
- The One You website has a lot of advice and ideas for healthy meals you can cook at home.
- Public Health England has provided some free, easy 10-minute workouts for exercises you can do in your own home.
- You can also try the exercise suggestions on the NHS Fitness Studio, and have a look at Sport England for some ideas for keeping active at home.
Coping with loneliness and isolation
The winter and festive season can be particularly challenging for those living alone. Isolation and loneliness can have a real impact on mental health, as well as physical health, for those who are unable to leave home. Help and support is available here.
Food banks and support with bills
A Christmas schedule for food banks and food projects 2021-2022 is available here: Christmas Opening Times.xlsx (bhfood.org.uk).
Household Support Fund
Extra help is available this winter for households in Brighton & Hove struggling to pay for food, fuel and other essential costs. The funding is part of the government’s Household Support Fund. The extra support is available until 31 March 2022: Household Support Fund (brighton-hove.gov.uk)
The following support is available both for people who are on benefits and those who are not:
- buying food and groceries
- paying for gas and electricity if you pay for it by key card or meter
- essential items you need to live in your home such as beds, cookers or fridges
- other support you may need in an emergency (e.g. clothing)
There are two main routes to access this support:
- If you receive benefits and need help to pay for essentials, apply for help from our Local Discretionary Social Fund.
- If you don't receive benefits and need help to pay for essentials, request support from our Community Hub.
Additionally, if you already claim Housing Benefit or Universal Credit and need extra help to pay your Council Tax, apply for discretionary council tax support
For the latest information about COVID-19 vaccinations check out our web page.
You can also visit our Coronavirus (COVID-19) information page information on the latest situation, and links to further advice and information.
Community Works have created a webpage which contains contains information on additional services that are open over the festive period.
Sussex NHS Commissioners has produced a guide to support you to access NHS services that are still here for you during COVID-19, which includes helpful information explaining how you may need to access services in a different way to stay safe. This guide is also available in different languages and British Sign Language (BSL) on request by contacting the Public Involvement team on 01903 708 411.
You can also access a full range of information produced by the Sussex Health and Care Partnership by clicking here
For more information about support and Christmas opening of council services: www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/christmas-opening
For a direct link to the support available in Brighton & Hove: www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/support-brighton-hove-over-christmas-2021