DISTRICT health chiefs are sharing tips to help people with their physical and mental wellbeing this winter.

Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust is issuing guidance ahead of Self Care Week, which begins on Monday (November 13).

It's encouraging people to manage minor ailments at home, eat well and keep active.

Anne Hartley, a district nurse, says: "Simple things like wrapping up warm when you go out and keeping the house warm can help to stave off minor illnesses, and eating well and staying active are just as important for your mental health as your physical wellbeing during cold weather and long winter nights.

"Flu can be horrible, causing symptoms like fever, chills, aching muscles, a headache, stuffy nose, dry cough and sore throat. And for children and adults with diabetes or asthma, it can potentially bring serious complications. Check with your GP to see if you’re eligible for the free vaccine and please return your child’s consent form to school so they can be vaccinated."

The trust provides a range of self-care information on its website, at bdct.nhs.uk/stay-well – from mood-boosting and mental wellbeing advice to dealing with flu and keeping young children well.

Also, the trust's falls prevention team has developed a home-based strength and balance exercise programme for older people.

Falls are one of the biggest causes of accidents in the home, and a chief reason for emergency hospital admissions amongst the over-65s. But the team says many falls can be prevented.

The care trust has also issued guidance relating to minor illnesses.

A spokesperson says: "Illnesses like colds, sore throats, diarrhoea or vomiting – common in the winter months – should clear up within a few days to a week and can be treated at home with over-the-counter medicines. It’s helpful to stock up now with your usual choice of pain management products, bandages, plasters, antiseptic cream/wipes etc.

"The over-65s, and people with long-term conditions, are advised to be especially alert to the first signs of illness and treat it early. Your local pharmacist can provide expert, confidential advice and treatment for minor ailments. NHS 111 can help if you have an urgent medical problem and you’re not sure what to do. Only call 999 if you have a life-threatening emergency."

Support with mental wellbeing is available from Bradford District and Craven Talking Therapies. Its provision ranges from phone advice to one-to-one courses. Visit bdctalkingtherapies.nhs.uk