People in and around Banbury are being encouraged to plan for winter before the weather takes a turn for the worse.
NHS partners in Oxfordshire, together with local councils and volunteer organisations, want people to be ready with well-stocked medicine cupboards, getting flu vaccinations and getting repeat prescriptions in plenty of time.
During winter, people are advised to keep their home heated to 18C, look out for the elderly or frail, and have a list of emergency numbers close to hand.
Tehmeena Ajmal, the county's first winter director, said: "We would like everyone in Oxfordshire to have a winter plan for themselves and their family, so that they know what they can do to keep as well as possible; what they can do if they start to get unwell; and how they can look after older family members, friends or neighbours who might need some help.
"Winter illnesses can be headed off by taking action early, so making sure you are stocked up at home with basic cold and flu medication.
"Or you can visit your local pharmacist for advice and the right medicines.
"And NHS 111 will provide advice on the most appropriate place to go for treatment if you don't feel well.
"Obviously there will be times when people become seriously unwell and hospital is the right place for them to be.
"But by taking a few simple steps and putting together your winter plan you may help yourself avoid admission to hospital."
Personal winter plans should include:
· Having a free flu vaccination if you are in an ‘at risk’ group
· Getting help early before your condition worsens.
· Getting repeat prescriptions in plenty of time
· Finding out where your local minor injuries unit is
· Seeking advice from your local, pharmacist
· Having a well-stocked medicine cabinet
· Stocking up on winter food supplies
· Getting your boiler serviced
· Keeping your home heated to 18C
· Having a list of emergency phone numbers handy by your phone
· Keeping an eye on elderly or frail friends, neighbours and relatives