With much of Surrey blanketed in snow everywhere looks picturesque but as the cold weather continues we are urging people to stay safe and well.
Cold weather can have serious consequences for health, and older people and those with heart or lung conditions can be particularly at risk. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you should heat your home to a temperature that is comfortable for you. If you do need to seek medical advice, speak to your community pharmacist in the first instance or go to NHS 111 online.
Remember that other people, such as older neighbours, friends and family members, may need a bit of extra help over the winter. There are some simple steps to follow to help those around you.
- Read these top tips for keeping warm and well this winter
- Keep in touch. Ask family, friends or neighbours if they need any practical help such as visiting a pharmacy or collecting groceries.
- Make sure they get their prescriptions before pharmacies close for Christmas Day.
If you are worried about a relative or elderly neighbour, you can contact your local council or call the Age UK helpline on 0800 678 1602 (8am to 7pm every day).
Dr Charlotte Canniff, Joint Chief Medical Officer for Surrey Heartlands Health and Care Partnership explains:
As the severe cold weather continues it can cause serious problems, especially for older people, babies and those with existing health conditions. We often see an increase in hospital admissions during severe cold weather - so it’s really important we all do all we can to keep ourselves, and others, safe.
Try to heat the rooms you use most, such as the living and bedroom, to at least 18°C if you can and keep your bedroom windows closed at night. If you need to go out, and especially if you are elderly, wear shoes with good grip – to prevent trips and falls and wrap up in warm clothes wearing a hat and gloves to keep your head and hands warm.
If you do feel unwell in the cold weather the local NHS is here for you – and there are a range of services available to help including:
- Pharmacies - a good place to start for health advice and over-the-counter medicines
- www.111.nhs.uk helps by linking you up with the service you need (for children under 5 years please call 111 instead) – and NHS 111 by phone 24/7 where a health advisor can help you get the care you need in the right place.
- GP practices can also help if you need advice or think you may need to see a doctor
- Walk-in centres and urgent treatment centres can also help – see www.nhs.uk for details
- Remember 999 and A&E are for critically ill people so always call or go to A&E straight away if it is a life-threatening situation.