One of the most important things that a parent can do for their child is to make sure that they have all their routine childhood vaccinations. It's the most effective way of keeping them protected against infectious diseases.
Ideally, children should have their jabs at the right age to protect them as early as possible and minimise the risk of infection.
The NHS provide an age dependent list of Routine Childhood Immunisations available for your child.
Want to Stop Smoking?
NHS Choices suggest eight practical, quick and simple steps you can take straight away to quit smoking
1. Talk to your GP
Many people don't realise that their GP can help them quit smoking. But your doctor can do a lot, such as enrolling you in a 'stop smoking' clinic and prescribing nicotine replacement therapy such as patches and gum, or stop smoking medication such as Champix.
Find out more about how your GP can help you quit.
2. Join an NHS Stop Smoking Service
The NHS has stop smoking services staffed by trained stop smoking advisers all over the country in a range of venues at times to suit you. You can join a group where local smokers meet once a week or have one-to-one support if you prefer. You usually go for a few weeks and work towards a quit date.
Find your nearest NHS Stop Smoking Service from the NHS Smokefree website, or call 0800 022 4332.
3. Get a 'cheerleader' and stop smoking together
Sign up for the NHS Smokefree Together Programme and you'll receive a supportive phone call, email and text the week before you quit, the day you quit and the following week.
4. Have an emergency phone number
Keep an emergency number, perhaps for your local NHS Stop Smoking Service.
Read more about how to cope with cravings.
5. Consider using NRT
Nicotine is addictive, and self-control alone might not be enough. Give yourself a better chance of success by using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). This is available either free or on prescription from your GP, depending on where you live or from your local NHS Stop Smoking Service.
Find your nearest NHS Stop Smoking Service from the NHS Smokefree website, or call 0800 022 4332. Or, you can buy nicotine patches, gum and so on over the counter from a pharmacy.
6. Email an expert
Ask an expert for advice through NHS Smokefree's Ask an expert service.
7. Get online help
Use our stop smoking tool to get daily tips for success.
Read more about the stop smoking treatments available on the NHS.
Content provided by NHS Choices.
Get Fit For Free
The secret to getting fit for free is to use every opportunity to be active.
Armed with a bit of get-up-and-go and good planning, you can be fitter than ever without spending a penny.
NHS Choices have enlisted the help of top fitness experts to help you explore new ways and places to exercise for free. Below is a list of links which will provide more information:
- Walk Everywhere
- Free Running Podcast
- Cycle to Work
- Park Games
- Home Exercises
- Trim Trails
- Green Gyms
- Outdoor Gym
- DIY Boot Camp
- Free Equipment
- Park Football
- Mall Walking
- Contact your Local Authority
- Free Gym Passes
Content provided by NHS Choices.
One in four affected
It's easy to think that mental health issues don't concern us, but in fact a quarter of us will have problems with our mental wellbeing at some time in our lives.
Mental health problems are equally common in men and women, but the types of problems differ. Women are one-and-a-half times more likely to be affected by anxiety and depression, while men suffer more from substance abuse (one in eight men is dependent on alcohol) and anti-social personality disorders. Men are also more prone to suicide: British men are three times more likely than British women to die as a result of suicide.
All these figures are based on people who have sought help for their mental health problems. Many more could be living with undiagnosed mental health issues, according to mental health charity MIND.
Contraception is free for most people in the UK. With 15 methods to choose from, you'll find one that suits you.
Contraceptive methods allow you to choose when and if you want to have a baby, but they dont protect you from sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Condoms help to protect against STIs and pregnancy, so whatever other method of contraception you're using to prevent pregnancy, use condoms as well to protect your and your partners health.
Where to get it
Contraceptive services are free and confidential, including to people under 16 as long as they are mature enough to understand the information and decisions involved. There are strict guidelines to for care professionals who work with people under 16.
You can get contraception free from:
- most GP surgeries (talk to your GP or practice nurse),
- community contraceptive clinics,
- some genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics,
- sexual health clinics (these offer contraceptive and STI testing services), and
- some young peoples services (call 0800 567123).
Contraception and menopause
Women who have sex with men and don't want to get pregnant need to keep on using contraception until they haven't had a period for more than 12 months (menopause).
This is because periods can become irregular before they stop entirely, and pregnancy can still occur during this time. Find out more about menopause.
The methods of contraception
There are lots of methods to choose from, so don't be put off if the first thing you use isn't quite right for you; you can try another. You can read about each of the different methods of contraception using the links below:
- Combined pill
- Condoms (female)
- Condoms (male)
- Contraceptive implant
- Contraceptive injection
- Contraceptive patch
- Intrauterine device (IUD)
- Intrauterine system (IUS)
- Natural family planning
- Progestogen-only pill
- Vaginal ring
There are two permanent methods of contraception:
You can also look in the phone book under 'sexual health', or use the fpa clinic finder to find a local family planning clinic. The surgery offers a full range of contraception services but you may want to use Hastings sexual health clinics for family planning advice.
You can find out more about each type of contraception by contacting:
- FPA:provider of information on individual methods of contraception, common sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy choices, abortion and planning a pregnancy. www.fpa.org.uk
- Brook: theyoung people's sexual health charity for under-25s.www.askbrook.org.uk
In addition to your chosen method of contraception, you need to use condoms to prevent STIs. Always buy condoms that have the CE mark on the packet. This means that they've been tested to the high European safety standards. Condoms that don't have the CE mark won't meet these standards, so don't use them.
Content provided by NHS Choices.
Looking after someone?
Caring for someone can be very difficult and many people find that they need extra help with the care they provide.
Find out what support you might be able to receive from the NHS Choices carers webpage. This page also provides lots of help and advice.
Carers Direct - 0808802 0202
Free, confidential information andadvice forcarers.
Lines are open 8am to 9pm Monday to Friday, 11am to 4pm at weekends. Calls are free from UK landlines.