Look after yourself

Ambulance services, hospitals, walk-in centres and urgent treatment centres can get especially busy over winter. By choosing the right health service, you will help to relieve pressure whilst also being better placed to look after yourself and others.

Help us help you stay well by following the top tips on this page to look after yourself and your family.  You can also view our self help guides and apps.

Help us help you generic.png

If you need medical help fast, use NHS 111 online or by phone. It’s available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and they’ll know the best service for your treatment need. They can also book you in to be seen at your local UTC / WIC, or you can turn up without an appointment.  

However, for life threatening emergencies, please dial 999 or go straight to A&E.

See the range of topics below and our animations for further advice:

A mental health crisis often means that you no longer feel able to cope or be in control of your situation. It often involves a sudden or continued worsening of your symptoms. You may feel great emotional distress or anxiety, feel you can't cope with day-to-day life, think about suicide or self-harm, or experience hallucinations and hearing voices. Below are some suggestions for what you can do if you are experiencing a mental health crisis.

The option you choose will depend on how severe you feel your symptoms are and if you can wait a short amount of time to get help, or if you need help immediately.

Please visit our urgent mental health page for support.

A&E or 999 is for life threatening situations and emergencies, such as loss of consciousness, a sudden confused state, chest pain, breathing difficulties, fits that are not stopping and sever bleeding. 

For any medical or mental health emergencies, you should call 999 or visit A&E. This is when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk. Visit when to call 999 for further information and emergency examples.

NHS 111 can help if you need urgent medical help or you’re not sure what to do. Its available online or over the phone 24 hours a day, seven days per week.

If you are worried about someone with mental health problems, go to our Urgent help page.

Provide consultations, advice and treatment for new minor injuries and illnesses.

We have Walk-in centres across Liverpool, Knowsley and South Sefton. Find your nearest one here.

Clinicians from Liverpool University Hospitals provide health advice on how to stay well this winter and explain the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine in Arabic, Chinese, Farsi/Dari, Nepali, Nigerian (Yoruba), Pashto, Polish and Romanian on the Liverpool CCG website here.

Important information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found here.

In the UK, we’re experiencing a cost of living crisis – costs of things like energy bills or your weekly shop are rising faster than our wages. This means more people might be experiencing financial difficulties, and we know that money worries can have a significant impact on our mental health and wellbeing.

Below you will find links to your local borough council with information on support and services that are available to help you:

Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust is encouraging parents and carers to protect their children this winter by ensuring they take up the flu vaccination programme.


From September, the vaccination and immunisation team will be administering the annual nasal spray flu vaccine to 40,000 primary school children across Liverpool in a bid to boost uptake. Letters, consent forms and information leaflets will be issued to parents and carers via their child’s local school.

Flu is a common infectious viral illness spread by coughs and sneezes. It can be very unpleasant, but you'll usually begin to feel better within about a week. You can catch flu – short for influenza – all year round, but it's especially common in winter, which is why it's also known as "seasonal flu".

The free flu vaccination is particularly important for those who are at increased risk from the effects of flu, and is available for:

  • anyone over the age of 65
  • pregnant women
  • children and adults with an underlying health condition (particularly long-term heart or lung disease)
  • children and adults with weakened immune systems.

Read more about how to stop the spread of flu.

Can help if you have an illness or injury that won’t go away and any long standing conditions. Other examples may include vomiting, ear pain, stomach ache and backache.

For further information, including how to register with a GP, visit www.nhs.uk

Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust take preventing and controlling the spread of germs seriously. Patients undergoing treatment in hospital have an increased risk of infection because:

  • being unwell can reduce the ability to fight off an infection
  • many of the necessary treatments can break the body’s natural defences.

So please help yourself and us by reading the advice given in this leaflet.

It can be tricky deciding whether or not to keep your child off school, nursery or playgroup when they're unwell. Visit the 'Is my child too ill for school?' page on the NHS website.

Keeping warm over the winter months can help to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression.

Heat your home to a temperature that’s comfortable for you.

If you can, this should be at least 18°C in the rooms that you regularly use, such as your living room and bedroom. This is particularly important if you have a pre-existing medical condition. You should also keep your bedroom windows closed at night.

Make sure you’re receiving all the help that you’re entitled to.

There are grants, benefits and sources of advice available to make your home more energy efficient, improve your heating or help with bills. Visit www.simpleenergyadvice.org.uk and www.gov.uk/browse/benefits/heating for further information.

And check your heating and cooking appliances are safe.

Contact a Gas Safe registered engineer to make sure they’re operating properly. Visit www.gassaferegister.co.uk and www.nationalfirechiefs.org.uk

Beat loneliness

Feeling lonely isn't in itself a mental health problem, but the two are strongly linked. Having a mental health problem increases your chance of feeling lonely, and feeling lonely can have a negative impact on your mental health.

To help people cope with loneliness we have produced a short animation, with handy tips and advice on how to maintain good mental health and wellbeing.


During the year, you need to keep yourself well during and self treat minor illnesses (eg. cold/ sore throat), therefore freeing GP and hospital appointments for those who need them most.

Help us help you stay well by following the top tips on this page to look after yourself and your family. You can also view our self help guides and apps.  

You’re precious, don’t ever stop taking care of yourself. It can be hard, especially if you’re feeling unwell or anxious. But little things, a bit of time out, a pampering session or even just a walk, really do give you the feel good factor.

Childs red book.jpgThe UK Health Security Agency has reported an increase in measles across the country including in the North West and is encouraging people to check that they and their children have had two doses of the MMR vaccine.

The free MMR vaccine is a safe and effective way of protecting against measles, as well as mumps and rubella.

It’s important for parents/ carers to take up the offer of MMR vaccination for their children when offered at 1 year of age and as a pre-school booster at three years, four months of age. If children and young adults have missed these vaccinations in the past, it’s important to take up the vaccine now from GPs, particularly in light of the recent cases.

Check your child’s Red Book to see if they’ve received MMR vaccinations as scheduled or check with your GP surgery if you’re unsure. Most healthy adults will have developed some immunity to measles but can still receive two doses of the vaccine from their GP too.

Anyone with symptoms is also being advised to stay at home and phone their GP or [nhs.uk%20website.]NHS 111 for advice.

Measles symptoms to be aware of include:

· High fever

· Sore, red, watery eyes

· Coughing

· Aching and feeling generally unwell

· A blotchy red brown rash, which usually appears after the initial symptoms.

For more information about measles, see the nhs.uk website

Our Hospital Mental Health Liaison teams offer a 24 hour service based at the A&E departments in

The teams provides support for people who are identified in A&E departments as having a mental health issue as well as a physical health problem.

If you need advice fast and you're not sure what to do, call 111 for health care advice that is fast, easy and free. You can also get answers to hundreds of health questions, including common childhood illnesses at the NHS website 24 hours a day.

NHS 111 will direct people to the most appropriate health service which may include a walk-in centre, GP practice, pharmacy or hospital.

NHS 111 advert

NHS app.jpgThe NHS App gives you a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services. Download the NHS App on your smartphone or tablet via the Google play or App store. You can also access the same services in a web browser by logging in through the NHS website.

You must be aged 13 or over to use the NHS App. You also need to be registered with a GP surgery in England or the Isle of Man. Find out more about who can use the NHS App.

Depending on your GP surgery or hospital, you may be able to use the NHS App to:

  • Message your GP surgery or a health professional online
  • Contact your GP surgery using an online form and get a reply
  • Access health services on behalf of someone you care for
  • View and manage your hospital and other healthcare appointments
  • View useful links your doctor or health professional has shared with you
  • View and manage care plans
  • Estimate the waiting time for some hospital treatments

For more information including how to download the NHS App, visit the NHS website.

norovirus-image.jpgNorovirus, also called the "winter vomiting bug", is a stomach bug that causes vomiting and diarrhoea. It can be very unpleasant, but usually goes away in about two days.

Check if you have norovirus on the NHS website

The main symptoms of norovirus are:

  • feeling sick (nausea)
  • diarrhoea
  • being sick (vomiting)

You may also have:

  • a high temperature of 38c or above
  • a headache
  • aching arms and legs

The symptoms start suddenly within 1 to 2 days of being infected.

2024.02.07_nhs-pharmacy_SocialStatics-Earache-1x1.jpgHighly trained pharmacists can now assess and treat patients for earache, impetigo, infected insect bites, shingles, sinusitis, sore throat, urinary tract infections (UTIs) for women aged 16-64 - without the need for a GP appointment.

Community pharmacy teams have the right clinical training to give people the health advice they need, with no appointment necessary and private consultations available. Community pharmacists will signpost patients to other local services where necessary.

Don't wait for minor health concerns to get worse – think pharmacy first and get seen by your local pharmacy team.

For more information, visit nhs.uk/thinkpharmacyfirst

This is the best choice to treat minor illnesses and injuries. A large range of common illnesses and injuries can be treated at home or with over-the-counter medicines and plenty of rest.

Take good care of yourself

Researchers from The New Economics Foundation* found that there are five factors to feeling and staying well:

Connect with other people

Feeling close to, and valued by, other people is a fundamental human need and makes you function better. Talking really does help. Try taking five minutes to get in touch with someone. Talking instead of texting or emailing ask how they are and really listen when they tell you. If you’re out talk to someone new.

Be active


Can a walk to the shops or mowing the lawn really be that good for you? The researchers say yes, the chemicals it releases called endorphins actually make you feel better and more positive. If you meet someone while you’re out even better.

You can do it at work too, walk to someone’s desk instead of calling or emailing. It’s simple but it works.

Take notice

We all get bogged down in our own thoughts and feelings. Stop and take notice of what’s around you, enjoy the moment – the researchers say being aware of what’s around you this can make you think more about what’s really important in your life – and make decisions based on what you want from life


It’s often said you’re never too old to learn – and the research says it’s true!

Starting a course when you’ve not studied for years isn’t easy – but the confidence and satisfaction is worth it and you’ll meet new people. Study something you think you’ll enjoy. It’ll help you to set goals and look forward which will help as part of your recovery plan.


It’s official - people who give to others rate themselves as happy. Become a volunteer, maybe at a charity shop, through your local Council for Voluntary services or with Mersey Care.

Take part as a service user

More stuff to help you feel better and stay that way….

MIND tips for staying well
Big White Wall
CALM: Campaign Against Living Miserably
Family Lives: support and advice
Mental Health Foundation
Rethink Mental Illness
Turning Point
Young Minds

NHS Talking Therapies offers free NHS therapy for people with common mental health problems like anxiety or depression, to help you change the way you feel by changing the way you think.


Warm hubs banner.png

The Life Rooms Walton, Southport, and Bootle are Warm Hubs ready to welcome you

You'll find a warm welcome at The Life Rooms Warm Hub sites, and opportunities for learning, finding support, and meeting new people.

Extended opening hours

Did you know we've extended our opening hours so that you can use our sites as a warm space? You can visit The Life Rooms Walton, Southport, and Bootle from 9.15am to 4.45pm each day.

Practical advice and support

Our Pathways Advisors can signpost or refer you to appropriate Mersey Care or partner services, to support your specific needs. This is what we call 'social prescribing' - it's like getting a prescription from a GP if you are unwell, but instead we 'prescribe' or refer you to expert services that can support you with mental and physical wellbeing, and social factors like housing issues or financial difficulties. Ask at reception to speak to a Pathways Advisor and view our Pathways Advice Service timetable here.

We also have Partner organisations on-site who can help with things like energy advice, housing, and more. Check our calendar to see who is on site each day.

Free courses and social activities

We have a range of free courses that you can sign up to, to gain new skills, like introduction to IT, understanding finances, creative sessions, and social sessions like coffee mornings. Have a look through our calendars below.

Device charging

Charge your Samsung or Apple device for free at our Walton, Southport, and Bootle Life Rooms. Ask at reception to book out one of our device chargers, which are to be used on site. For safety reasons, your own chargers can not be used on site.