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Deck the halls and stock your cupboards, advises Croydon's health and care partnership

As last minute gifts and tasty treats are topping shopping lists this week, social and health care partners across Croydon are reminding people to stock up on their medication in time for the festive break.

People with long term health conditions can be more vulnerable to winter illnesses, particularly if their prescription medication runs out. We're encouraging everyone to check they have enough medication to see them through the festive period.

While some GP surgeries will close over the weekends and bank holidays, a number of appointments will still be available from 8am – 8pm every day over Christmas and New Year at:

People in Croydon needing urgent medical advice can also contact NHS 111 throughout the Christmas period or visit their local pharmacist for help treating minor ailments.

Winter can be bad for our health, but there a number of things everyone can do to keep themselves and their family well this winter. By checking they have adequate supplies of prescription medication and adding some cough and cold remedies to their Christmas shopping list, everyone can make sure that they can tackle a winter illness as soon as it appears.

As part of NHS England's 'Stay Well This Winter' campaign, residents of Croydon are also being advised to follow some simple steps to keep healthy during the colder weather, including heating your home to at least 18°C, wearing lots of thin layers to keep warm when you're out and about and checking in on older or vulnerable neighbours to see if they need support.

An extra step residents can take is getting vaccinated against the flu, which can protect themselves and their family from this nasty winter illness.  You can protect yourself more generally by eating healthily, avoiding stress, being physically active, not smoking and cutting back on alcohol. Croydon Council has lots of tips and advice for Croydon residents at www.justbecroydon.org.  You can also take an online health MOT on the website to find out what lifestyle changes you could make to live a healthier lifestyle.