RESIDENTS are being urged to 'work together' to help protect health services as we head into winter.

Barnsley director of Public health, Julia Burrows, made an announcement to help reduce the impact of Covid a the winter months draw closer.

She said: “As we head into winter, we want to share with you some of the challenges and opportunities facing NHS and care services, and how together, we can all help each other.

“The way Barnsley people have responded flexibly to the NHS throughout the past 18 months has been amazing and we still need your help.

“The pandemic is not over. Rates remain high, people continue to die from Covid-19, and others are experiencing long-Covid.

“It is still having an impact on all aspects of people’s lives and we certainly see it still in health and care services.”

Residents are urged to continue to self-test for Covid and to use the NHS app to check your symptoms of Covid – which can be similar to 'common' winter illnesses such as a cold or flu.

Barnsley pharmacies offer a range of services provided by experts who can help with issues such as pains, colds, and stomach issues.

If you are not sure whether your illness or symptoms are serious, call NHS111 who can help advise you about what to do next.

999 should only be used in an emergency – to help reduce the strain on emergency services, residents are urged to only phone the number in the case of an emergency.

In response to the pandemic, GP services are recruiting more staff and providing additional support to people with long-term conditions.

Local pharmacies are also working with Gps to offer enhances services for certain condition.

Julia added: “Thank you for continuing to work together with us.

“We must all be more kind to ourselves and those around us as we all work through these very challenging times.”