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Things may feel overwhelming at the moment, but the NHS is here for you this winter if you need it.


Get cancer symptoms checked

It's important to be aware of any unexplained changes to your body, such as blood in your pee or poo, a lump, persistent bloating or pain that does not go away.

These symptoms are often caused by other, non-cancerous illnesses, but it's important to speak to your GP so they can investigate. Finding cancer early means it's easier to treat.

If your GP suspects cancer, they'll refer you to a specialist – usually within two weeks.

The specialist will carry out further tests, such as a biopsy or X-ray, and plan any necessary treatment.

For more information on cancer signs and symptoms, visit the NHS website.


Mental health matters

If you're feeling stressed, anxious or depressed there are many effective ways you can help yourself to feel better. You can find out more on the Every Mind Matters NHS website. It offers lots of practical ways for you to improve your mental wellbeing.

If you need help for a mental health crisis, emergency or breakdown, you should get immediate expert advice and assessment.

Livewell Southwest offer a 24-hour helpline for people who need mental health support. For adults the number is 01752 434922. Under-18s can receive help by calling 01752 435122.


Remember that you can ask for a remote consultation

Many people are using phone or online consultations to access NHS care. The NHS app (downloadable from the App Store or Google Play) allows you to arrange a virtual consultation with your own GP using eConsult. Patients can submit their symptoms or requests electronically using the app. It also offers around the clock NHS self-help information, signposting to services, and a symptom checker.

Many hospital appointments are now offered in a similar way. Remember that you can ask for a remote consultation online or by phone. Some appointments require a physical examination in person, but wherever possible remote consultations will be offered. If you want to know more about how video consultations work in the hospital, read here.

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