PEOPLE living with long-term illnesses are being urged to prepare for the winter months.

It is estimated that around half the adult population in Blackburn with Darwen and around a quarter of people across East Lancashire live with at least one long-term condition such as heart disease, lung disease, cancer, asthma and other underlying health problems.

And health bosses say a fall in temperature to below 12 degrees, plus common winter illnesses such as coughs, colds, flu and the winter vomiting bug Norovirus can have an impact on their health if they aren’t prepared.

Burnley GP Dr David White said: “We are asking people who are normally healthy to think twice before they contact their local NHS services with common winter health complaints. “If you treat yourself at home, most common aches, pains and minor winter illnesses will begin to clear up by themselves within a few days. Often there is no need to make a GP appointment, call 999 or go to the hospital Urgent Care Centre for common winter minor illnesses.”