Advice & information

Local health and social care services

We provide information about local health and social care services to help you find the care and support you need.  We can also advise you who to contact with questions or issues you may have about local services.  Our information and signposting service is free, confidential, and independent of the NHS and Social Services.*

Have you had your flu jab?

This year, the flu vaccine is being offered free on the NHS to:

  • adults aged 65 and over
  • people with certain medical conditions (including children in at-risk groups from 6 months of age)
  • pregnant women
  • people living with someone who’s at high risk from coronavirus (on the NHS shielded patient list)
  • children aged 2 and 3 on 31 August 2020
  • children in primary school
  • children in year 7 (secondary school)
  • frontline health or social care workers
  • are in a long-stay residential care
  • receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick

Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group wants people aged 50 to 64 and in an at-risk group, to have the flu vaccine as soon as possible. If you are aged 50-64 and not in one of the at-risk categories, you will be made aware if you will be able to get the vaccination.

If you aren’t eligible for a free flu jab you are able to pay for one at your local pharmacist.  For more information, visit

Watch a video clip

Last year, Healthwatch Dorset Steering Group member, Peter Greensmith, caught flu.  Watch his video to hear why he thinks people should get vaccinated.

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How to get the care you need during Covid-19

Coronavirus has affected how health and social care services are delivered, nationally and locally.  Many services have introduced new ways of working to care for those with the virus, and to protect the public, patients, and their staff.

We are here to help you find out how to get the care and support you need.  We are in regular contact with health and social care providers in Dorset, so we can provide you with up to date information and advice about local services.

  • Get in touch with us for information about local services and support: Contact us and follow us on social media.
  • Residents in BCP Council area who require support with access to food, essential supplies or ‘other’ support can contact the Together We Can helpline to access support: 0300 1237052, 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. They can also request support online via this e-form:
  • For residents in Dorset Council area, Dorset Council continues to offer help and support to anyone who does not have family, friends or a community support network around them. The DorsetTogether helpline remains open and can signpost people to the relevant support and help with things like shopping, prescription collections/deliveries and access to food. Residents can register, either by completing the online form at or by calling 01305 221000.
  • Read online the latest advice and information about coronavirus from NHS England and from NHS 111 to check if you have coronavirus symptons.
  • Look after your wellbeing while staying informed.

Tell us about your experiences of using health and care services, and help services adapt and improve.

*Please note:

  • We do not ourselves have powers to investigate individual formal complaints about NHS or social care services.
  • We cannot make a complaint to a service on your behalf.  If you need support to make a formal complaint about a NHS or social care service, see our Complaints & Advocacy section.
  • We are not able to offer financial or legal advice.  That should always be sought from a trained specialist such as a solicitor or financial advisor.

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