Preparing for winter challenges
In anticipation of a challenging winter for the NHS and social care services, we have announced additional measures to boost capacity, support staff and better care for patients at home.
Our winter resilience plans include introducing extra hospital beds, more 111 and 999 call handlers, rapid response teams for home falls and 24/7 “healthcare traffic control centres” to oversee services across each area.
People aged 50 and over, those at higher risk or who are pregnant, and those who have or live with someone with a weakened immune system can now book their latest life-saving flu and COVID-19 vaccinations.
COVID-19 vaccination appointments are available online or by calling 119 free of charge – and these appointments are also open to frontline health and care staff. Flu vaccinations for these staff are available through their employer.
For the first time, the NHS is trialling national online booking for flu vaccinations in some pharmacies – use the online booking service to check if your local pharmacy is offering appointments. You can also book a flu vaccination directly through local GP practices or pharmacies.
Find out about the NHS Long Term Plan and what it means for patients and the public
Tackling health inequalities and advancing equality and diversity across the NHS
Taking the opportunity to capitalise on current success and embed new ideas
Pharmacy teams have been heavily involved in the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination. We have taken on new roles and worked tirelessly with other healthcare professionals to protect our communities – despite demanding work schedules. Many of us extended our opening times to increase availability and volunteered to support vaccination centres, pop-ups and mobile units. […]