Health advice and support

Below is a collection of general advice and information intended for the people of Somerset. For more information, please visit the NHS website.

Advice to help you stay well

As the seasons change its important to take care of yourself and help to keep yourself well and healthy.

Below, we’ve shared information to help you stay physically and mentally well. You can find more information on the NHS website.

Stay active

Regular exercise is important for your health and wellbeing and will help you keep well. You don’t have to run a marathon, short walks can help you stay active.

Whatever the weather, we can all stay active. There are lots of great strength and flex workouts at to help you stay active. Being active has a long-term positive impact on your health and immediate mental and social benefits.

Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership (SASP) have lots of information for adults and children and young people on how you can be active.

SASP also have tips on how you can be active at home.

Age UK also offer a range of activities and exercise classes. You can find out about any classes in your local area on the Age UK website.

Stay connected

It’s important to connect with other people. Good relationships are important for your mental wellbeing. They can help you to build a sense of belonging, provide an opportunity to share positive experiences and give emotional support.

Check in on neighbours, family and friends to see how they are. Why not try taking up a new hobby as a way to meet new people.

There are a range of support groups and local community groups. Local community centres and community magazines will often have details of groups and activities running in your local area.

Another great way to stay connected is to get out and volunteer in your local community. It’s also a good way to make a difference in the community – especially during difficult times like these. There are lots of different opportunities available and you’ll benefit too.

Discover a volunteering opportunity near you

Stay informed

Our health and care services across Somerset experience high levels of demand, meaning GP surgeries, hospitals, accident and emergency, community health services, mental health services, social care and our ambulance service are all very busy.

Choosing the most appropriate service for your needs can not only help you be seen more quickly, but can also help those with more serious illnesses or injuries get care quicker too.

Find the right service for your health care need.

People with minor illnesses will be able to be seen more quickly by using their local services such as Minor Injury Units or community pharmacies.

If you’re unwell and are unsure about where to go, visit or call 111. Please be patient and choose the right care. At this very busy time, your 111 call may take a little longer to answer than usual but staff will get to you as quickly as possible.

For ongoing or non-urgent concerns please contact your local pharmacist or GP practice.

Call 999 in a medical emergency. This is when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk.

Because of the number of people needing care, there are currently longer waits for routine appointments than usual. The NHS in Somerset is doing all it can to reduce waiting times both in General Practice and in the hospitals.

Stay well

There is lots of information on the NHS website to help you stay well.

Eat well

Food gives you energy, which helps to keep you warm. Try to have regular hot meals and drinks throughout the day.

Eating a healthy, balanced diet with the right types of foods is an important part of maintaining good health and can help you feel your best.

Change4Life has loads of healthy eating tips and recipes, and fun ways to exercise. Change4Life is here to help you and your kids eat well and move more.

Find out more about eating well on the NHS website.

Self care

Self-care is about looking after your own health and making the right choices about where to go for help and advice when you need it. Many common illnesses and injuries can be treated at home – talk to your pharmacist about remedies and advice on what to do.

Keep a well-stocked medical cabinet. This could include: pain killers, anti-diarrhoeal medicine, rehydration mixture, indigestion remedies, cold and flu remedies, first aid kit with bandages, plasters, antiseptic wipes and cream, eyewash, medical tape, sterile dressing and thermometer. Find more advice about what to keep in your medicine cabinet on the NHS website.

A number of minor health problems can be dealt with at home or with help from your pharmacist from hay fever, sore throats to painful joints and dry skin.

Norovirus and other gastrointestinal infections

Norovirus is also known as the winter vomiting bug, although it can cause diarrhoea too. The main thing to do is to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. You can also take paracetamol for any aches, pains or fever.

Norovirus can be very unpleasant but it usually clears up within a few days. You can normally look after yourself or your child at home. Try to avoid going to your GP, as norovirus can spread to others very easily. Also it is wise to avoid visiting others in hospitals or care homes if you have a gastrointestinal illness. Call your GP or NHS 111 if you’re concerned or need any advice.

Read more about Norovirus


Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening condition, however it can be easily treated if caught early.

Symptoms of sepsis will present differently between adults and children. The information below is to help you identify the symptoms.

Hand Hygiene

Thousands of people die every day around the world from infections acquired while receiving health care. Hands are the main pathways of germ transmission during health care. Hand hygiene is therefore the most important measure to avoid the transmission of harmful germs and prevent health care-associated infections.

NHS Somerset has adopted the World Health Organization’s Five Moments for Hand Hygiene as it not only defines the key moments for hand hygiene, it also presents a unified vision and promotes a strong sense of ownership. The Five Moments align with the evidence base concerning the spread of HCAI and is interwoven with the natural workflow of care, designed to be easy to learn, logical and applicable in a wide range of settings.

Related Documents

Infection control for contractors
Hydration leaflet
Spotting Sepsis Leaflet