A Newcastle doctor has given his top tips for staying healthy as we head into winter.
As the weather turns, Dr Ajay Bedi says there are things we can do to help protect ourselves from illness.
It comes as public health leaders across the North East and North Cumbria warn they need the public's help to weather the winter months.
An NHS winter plan for the region has identified pinch points in the system, with the aim of reducing delays in getting patients to the right place first time, speeding up ambulance handovers and avoiding delays in the transfer of care of patients from hospital.
Extra support is also being implemented for frail people, including urgent community response services, virtual wards to prevent falls and care for more people in their own home.
More beds in hospital and community care settings will also enhance care for patients, doctors say.
Here are some tips for staying well this winter:
Be prepared; increase your fruit and vegetable and fluid intake to boost your immune system
Have any repeat medication at home
Get vaccinated if you are eligible and would like to
Find different ways to be active
Dr Ajay says the cold can often make chronic illnesses worse, increasing pressure on the NHS which can impact patient experience.
Here's how you can help:
Use NHS 111
Use pharmacies for minor illnesses
Only use 999 in an emergency
He added: "The bottom line is, whatever's going on, no patient should ever feel that they can't seek help somewhere."
Hear from Dr Ajay about looking after your mental health during the onset of the cold and dark months.
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