The Met Office has issued an alert for severe cold weather, icy conditions and snow in parts of England between Sunday 4th February to Friday 9th February 2018.

This weather could increase the health risks to vulnerable patients and disrupt the delivery of services.  With the temperatures dropping, keeping yourself warm is essential to staying healthy, especially for the very young, older people or those with a chronic condition such as heart disease and asthma.

There are a range of health problems associated with cold housing and winter weather, but in particular, a cold indoor or outdoor environment can make heart and respiratory problems worse, and can be fatal.

Top tips to prepare for colder weather:

  • Look out for friends and family who may be vulnerable to the cold and ensure they have access to warm food and drinks and are managing to heat their homes adequately.
  • Try to maintain indoor temperatures to at least 18C, particularly if you are not mobile, have long term illness or are 65 or over.
  • Stay tuned for weather forecasts, ensure you are stocked with food and medications in advance, have deliveries or ask a friend to help.
  • Take weather into account when planning your activity over the following days.
  • If eligible seek entitlements and benefits such as Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments, which are available to some.
  • Power and utility companies have schemes which make at-risk groups a priority for reconnection following power cuts. Find out of Ofgem’s website if you meet the criteria and if so, sign up.
  • Avoid exposing yourself to cold or icy outdoor conditions if you are at a higher risk of cold related illness or falls.

Further advice is also available on the NHS website.