A Yellow Cold Health Alert has been issued by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) in conjunction with the Met Office.
During a Cold Health Alert, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and Met Office guidance signals vulnerable people including the elderly, very young, pregnant mums, and anyone with long-term health conditions, are at increased risk of falling ill – and potentially needing NHS services.
The yellow Cold-Health Alert will be in place from 09:00 on 06/01/2024 until 12:00 on 18/01/2024, with daytime temperatures expected to remain in low single figures over the coming days. Nights could also dip below freezing, with possible morning frosts and already wet ground turning icy.
Given this, we advise patients to check in on vulnerable family, friends and neighbours to make sure they keep safe and follow practical advice for keeping well in the Winter months including the tips below –
- Try to heat rooms you spend a lot of time in, like the living room or bedroom, to at least 18C.
- Keep your bedroom at 18C at night and keep your bedroom window closed.
- Try to reduce draughts by drawing your curtains at dusk and fitting draught excluders around doors – this can be done cheaply.
- Keep moving indoors with little exercises like moving your feet up and down.
- If you have visitors, ventilate the room for a few minutes before and after they arrive to help stop the spread of germs.
- Wear a hat, scarf and gloves outside, particularly in December and January.
- When out and about, wear shoes with good grip to avoid slips and falls on slippery or icy surfaces.
- Wear several layers of thinner clothing, this will keep you warmer than one thick layer,
- Drink hot drinks and eat warm foods like curries, stews and soups.
- If bad weather is forecast, plan ahead check you have enough food and medication in case it’s harder to leave the house.
- Check on older or vulnerable relatives and neighbours – check their heating is working and if they need any groceries or medications.
- To reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), babies should sleep in rooms heated to between 16C and 20C.
- You can get vaccinated to reduce the risk of respiratory illnesses. Check your eligibility for a flu vaccination or COVID-19 booster.
If you do need NHS help when the surgery is closed, NHS 111 (online or via phone) is there for you. You can also contact your local pharmacy for help and advice.