Help us help you this winter

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The key to the NHS working well this winter is for the public to use services appropriately.

Everyone can benefit by following the expert advice of NHS staff to help the NHS help people to stay well; to prevent an illness getting worse; to take the best course of action; and get well again sooner.

staying healthy in winter
Staying healthy in winter

Below is a summary of the health care options available to you on the Fylde Coast to help you to understand which services will get you the best treatment.

Click here to download our handy information postcard

Click each header to expand its content

Self Care

Let’s be honest, if you’re ill the worst place to be is around other people. You can pass on your germs to them or worse, pick up something else from them. Sometimes the best thing for minor ailments is simply to stay in bed and have lots of fluids. A simple cough or cold will clear up after just a couple of days with nothing more than some cough mixture and some hot lemon and honey.

For tips on ways to look after yourself go to

If you have a medical condition where you take regular medication don’t forget to order your repeat prescriptions before Christmas and New Year so you know you wont run out.

Winter can be particularly difficult for people with long term conditions, especially respiratory conditions such as COPD or asthma. Below is a video that explains some of the important steps you need to take if you have a respiratory condition.

Make sure you get your flu jab. If you’re any one of the following you’ll get the vaccination for free:

  • Aged over 65
  • Have a long term medical condition
  • Children aged 2 and 3
  • Children in reception class and school years 1-5 (This is being given to children in schools across the Fylde Coast)
  • Pregnant

There’s more on self care locally here.

To find out what clubs, sports groups, social groups and more are available on the Fylde Coast by using the FYi Directory here.

Flu Vaccination

You will be entitled to the free flu vaccination if you are:

  • Aged 65 or older
  • aged 2 to 10 years
  • a frontline health, hospice or social care worker
  • living in a residential or nursing home
  • aged 6 months to 64 years in an at risk group
    • pregnant
    • have a lung, heart kidney or liver disease
    • have had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack
    • have a neurological condition including cerebral palsy or a learning difficulty
    • lowered immunity due to a disease or treatment
    • no spleen or a spleen problem eg caeliac syndrom
    • are seriously overweight with a BMI of 40 and above
  • a household contact of an immunocompromised person

You can get your free flu vaccination from:

  • GP practice –  keep your eye out for your practice’s flu clinics
  • pharmacies
  • school vaccination teams
  • midwives
  • Health staff will also be able to get their flu jab through their employers

Flu facts

  • Flu is highly infectious
  • flu is not a bad cold – it can be a lot worse
  • Flu can increase your risk of developing more serious illnesses such as bronchitis or pneumonia
  • Flu can lead to a stay in hospital or even death
  • the best way to avoid flu is to have the vaccination
  • if you’re pregnant and get the flu jab you are protecting both yourself and your baby
  • The flu virus can change from year to year which is why you should have the vaccination every year.


Due to a number of young people being taken to the urgent treatment centres on the Fylde Coast, we are aware of some pockets of norovirus in the area.

We would strongly urge anyone suffering from this condition to remain at home and wait for the symptoms to pass. This is a highly contagious illness for which there is no medical treatment available.

If you or your child is suffering from the bug, drink lots of fluids and take paracetamol to ease any discomfort. Symptoms should pass within two days.

If you are particularly concerned about the symptoms you or your loved one is experiencing, please call 111 for advice.

Norovirus box

Pharmacies -including Bank Holiday opening times


Pharmacists are experts on medication and what treatment you need for many minor ailments. Don’t forget that GPs and nurses won’t generally give you a prescription for things like cough medicine or pain killers (paracetamol) so there’s no point going to your GP. Just go straight to your community pharmacist and buy the medicines over the counter. They’re cheap, you’ll save yourself a lot of time waiting for a GP appointment and we will be able to save appointments for people who are more seriously ill.

Some pharmacies close over the Christmas and New Year bank holidays. Here are the ones that are open across the Fylde Coast.

  • New Year’s Day
  • Whitegate Pharmacy, Whitegate Health Centre, Blackpool 8am-9pm
  • Morrisons Pharmacy, Morrisons Supermarket, Squires Gate Lane 10am-4pm
  • Kepple Lane Pharmacy, Kepple Lane, Garstang 10am-1pm
  • Norchem, 54-56 Norbreck Road, Blackpool 10am-1pm
  • Wesham Pharmacy, 22 Station Road, Wesham 10am-7pm
  • Morrisons Pharmacy, Amounderness Way, Thornton Cleveleys 10am-4pm
  • Lytham Road Pharmacy, South Shore PCC, Lytham Road, Blackpool 10am-1pm
  • Boots Pharmacy, 79 – 81 Lord Street, Fleetwood 10am-7pm
  • Lloyds Pharmacy, St. Andrews Road North, St Annes on Sea 9am-7pm
  • Well Pharmacy, 17 Church Street, Poulton-Le-Fylde, 4pm-7pm


GP and healthcare appointments

Your GP practices will be open as normal if you have a health concern that you are worried about or has lasted longer than expected. The doctors and nurses in your Practice will be busy giving flu vaccinations and seeing extra people. As with all businesses practices will be closed on the bank holidays.

If you have a GP appointment please don’t forget to go and if you decide on the day that you no longer need the appointment or if you can’t go for any reason please let your practice know so they can give your appointment to someone who might be urgently waiting.

Outside of normal business hours you can call your GP practice and they will divert you to an out of hours service for advice.

Evening and Weekend GP and healthcare appointments

You can now make an appointment to see a GP or healthcare professional in the evening and weekends. The Fylde Coast NHS has arranged for additional appointments to be provided outside of normal GP practice hours by the Fylde Coast Integrated Urgent Care Service. This means you can make an appointment at a time that is more convenient to you. It also means that more appointments are available so you should get an appointment sooner.

The appointments are available until 8pm on weekdays and from 8am-8pm on Saturdays and Sundays. They are held at either the Whitegate Drive health centre in Blackpool, Freckleton Health Centre, Fleetwood Health and Wellbeing Centre Or Garstang Medical Practice.

The service offers pre-bookable, routine primary care appointments with a range of clinicians including GPs, nurses and health care assistants.

Please be aware that this is not a walk-in service – you must have an appointment.

The service employs local clinicians from the Fylde Coast, where possible.

To book an appointment simply call your GP practice as normal and ask them to book one for you. If your GP practice isn’t open then call 01253 952950.

For more information on this click here.

Urgent Treatment Centres

There are two urgent treatment centres on the Fylde Coast, which open seven days a week, from 8am until 8pm.

Both centres offer pre-bookable appointments via NHS111, and walk-in appointments. They are ideal if you need immediate attention with sprains or strains, minor cuts and injuries or if you are feeling unwell.

Since the centres operate for walk-in appointments be prepared to wait a while before being seen. You will be seen according to the severity of your condition not the order in which you arrive. However, you will most likely be seen quicker than if you went to A&E.

Whitegate Drive Health Centre,
Whitegate Drive, Blackpool, FY3 9ES

Fleetwood Health and Wellbeing Centre,
DockStreet, Fleetwood FY7 6HP.

NHS 111

NHS111 is a free service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You should contact NHS111 if you urgently need medical help or information but your situation is not life-threatening.

To contact NHS111 please dial 111 or visit the new website

Emergency Department - A&E

A&E (accident and emergency) departments treat patients with serious or life-threatening illnesses and injuries. You should only call 999 or visit A&E in an emergency.

If you attend A&E with a non-emergency condition do not be offended if you are advised to visit another service. There is an Urgent Treatment Centre next to A&E and you may be asked to go there instead. You may be assessed and told to go elsewhere or make an appointment with your GP. A&E will be kept free to treat those in need of care for serious life-threatening injuries and illnesses, or emergencies.

Guide to local health services (pdf | 0.3 MB)

More advice to help this winter:

Help kids and their families have an ‘elfie’ Christmas

This year the local NHS has enlisted the help of Santa’s own health advisor, Harry the health elf on a shelf’ to teach young people and their families how to stay well in the winter. Unlike his elf on a shelf cousins, who are notoriously naughty, Harry will be found having his flu vaccination, eating healthy hot meals, being active, looking after sick friends and lots of other key winter behaviours – one for every school day between 1 to 24 December.

We would love it if you could help support the spread of Harry’s message by downloading and sharing our stock of pictures on your social media and in your classes.

You’ll find generic pictures of Harry that you can use and also some pictures of Harry with no background so you can superimpose him into any location you like.

We’ll be sharing some of our own pictures too from 1 to 24 December. We’d love to see what you post so please use the hashtag #harryhealthelf and tag us in to anything @fyldecoastccgs on Twitter and Instagram.


A huge thank you!

Thank you to everyone who shared our Harry the Health elf activities. Harry was really popular on our Facebook and Twitter feeds. Thanks to all that interest Harry:

  • was seen by 713,929 people on all our social media channels over the 24 days he was featured,
  • received 1,774 likes,
  • was shared 398 times,
  • received 88 comments,
  • directed 144 people to our winter advice pages, and
  • was downloaded 269 times.

That’s a great response. Let’s see what Harry gets up to next year!