Sent: 03 November 2021 10:15
We have now entered cold weather season which is operational from 1st November 2021 to 31st March 2022. You have been identified as a key stakeholder to help us disseminate cold weather alerts to ensure that residents can access information and resources to help them protect themselves and support vulnerable family, friends, and neighbours.
We know that cold weather increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes, lung illnesses, flu, falls and injuries, particularly in older people and those with long-term health conditions. It is therefore important that swift action is taken when a cold weather Level 2 alert or higher comes to you (Level 2 alert = 60% likelihood that the mean temperature is expected to be at or below 2°C for a period of 48 hours, and/or heavy snow/ widespread ice, in the coming days).
We continue to have the added challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 is likely to amplify the risks of cold weather. We know that people who are vulnerable to dying from the impact of cold temperatures overlap with those who are susceptible to illness from COVID-19. These shared risk factors mean the cold weather period is of even greater importance this year if we are to protect the health of our communities.
I will be in contact each time the Met Office raises an alert with the relevant information as and when needed. Should you wish to not be included within this email alert system or if there is someone more appropriate within your organisation/department to contact, please let me know.
I have included below some helpful advice and resources.
The current advice from the Met Office, in conjunction with the UK Health Security Agency, is:
“There are actions you can take to reduce the risk of harm to health from cold weather. These include fitting draught proofing to seal any gaps around windows and doors, making sure your loft, cavity walls, hot water cyclinder(s) and pipes are insulated. Contact your GP or pharmacist if you think you, or someone you care for, might qualify for a free flu jab. If you want more information about how cold weather can affect your health please visit www.nhs.uk. If you are concerned about your health or somebody you care for, advice can be obtained fromwww.nhs.uk/winterhealth, NHS 111 or your local pharmacist.”
Attached to this email are some key resources:
- The Keep Warm Keep Well leaflet gives advice on staying well in cold weather, covering issues such as financial help, healthy lifestyles, the flu vaccine, and heating advice.
- The Stay Well This Winter leaflet contains information on COVID-19, flu, keeping active, mental health support, handwashing, and prescriptions.
Below are some useful links:
- Top tips for keeping warm and well 2021 (publishing.service.gov.uk)
- Cold weather health risks and COVID-19: Actions to prevent harm (khub.net)
- Flu vaccine – NHS (www.nhs.uk)
- How to stay well in winter – NHS (www.nhs.uk)
- Helping you to stay well | Frimley Health and Care – This information booklet explains what services are available to local people to support their own health and wellbeing. It covers a range of topics including self-care, mental health, knowing where to go when you feel unwell, family support, and carers support.
Please take the time to look through these resources and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
Public Health Programme Officer
Adults, Health, and Housing