With temperatures predicted to be low this weekend, Torbay’s Public Health team is supporting Public Health England’s cold weather advice, particularly for older people and those in poor health.

The weather, which is the Met Office says is brought on by changes in the jet stream is set to bring deep freeze to the UK.

Cllr Chris Lewis, Executive Lead for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Although many parts of the country have already seen colder weather this winter, it does look like we’re in for a further spell.

“We know that, in this sort of weather, older people and people in poor health tend to stay indoors. While this is sensible, it’s worth remembering these people may need help getting to a hospital or GP appointment, with shopping or prescription fetching, or just someone to talk to. If you know someone in this situation, and most of us do, think about what you can you do to help out.

“Contrary to popular belief, it’s actually working age adults who have most slips and trips outside in cold and icy weather, not older people, which is why it’s important to wear shoes with a good, slip-resistant grip to prevent any accidental falls.

“Although the advice on keeping warm and well in cold weather may seem like common sense, it’s important to remember that cold kills, even in places where the temperatures aren’t at their lowest.”

The Cold Weather Plan for England sets out a series of actions that health and social care organisations, voluntary and community groups, and individuals can take and plan for cold temperatures to help reduce cold-related illnesses and deaths.

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, drinks and managing to heat their homes adequately
  • try to maintain indoor temperatures to at least 18°C, 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
  • avoid exposing yourself to cold or icy outdoor conditions if you are at a higher risk of cold related illness or falls
  • discuss with friends and neighbours about clearing snow and ice from in front of your house and public walkways nearby, if unable to do so yourself

Ends

Notes to editors

  1. The Cold Weather Plan for England is updated each year to provide health and social care services with emergency planning and preparedness guidance in the event of severe weather and periods of cold weather.
  2. Find out about the Met Office’s Cold Weather Alert system.
  3. Public Health England’s mission is to protect and improve the nation’s health and to address inequalities through working with national and local government, the NHS, industry and the voluntary and community sector. PHE is an operationally autonomous executive agency of the Department of Health. www.gov.uk/phe Follow us on Twitter @PHE_uk

News archive

2017
2016
2015
2014