NHS NHS warns public to stay well as temperatures expected to plummet
NHS England is today advising the public to take action to protect
themselves and stay well ahead of a predicted cold snap this weekend.
Freezing conditions are forecast in some areas and evidence shows that
the risk of heart attacks, strokes and other serious breathing problems
increases as temperatures plummet.
The public can take simple, common sense steps to protect themselves.
Vulnerable groups such as the elderly, those with chronic heart, kidney, lung
or liver problems should heat their homes to at least 18C, keep mobile and take
regular hot drinks and meals. They should stock up on medicines when
If anyone becomes unwell then take early action and visit NHS Choices online
for information or visit your local pharmacist who is fully qualified to give
advice on the best course of action. Those living next to elderly or vulnerable
neighbours are urged to check on them during the cold spell.
The public are also asked to avoid visiting friends, relatives and
loved-ones in hospital until at least 48 hours after symptoms have stopped if
suffering from vomiting, diarrhoea or other illnesses.
It is certainly not too late for people to get their flu jab which is by
far the best protection against the flu virus and the really unpleasant
consequences which can include hospital admission and even death. Flu kills on
average 8,000 people a year, many during the winter months.
The latest Public Health England figures show a rise in flu levels, at a
higher rate than this time last year with two and a half times as many flu
sufferers admitted to hospital. The figures come after parts of France have
reported being on the brink of a flu ‘epidemic’.
Keith Willett, NHS England Medical Director for Acute Care, said: “The
NHS is putting into practice our plan for winter but as temperatures are set to
reach below freezing this weekend, the public can play their part by keeping
warm, stocking up on medications and using NHS Choices and pharmacists to get
advice. If urgent advice is needed then call 111.
“Reports about the serious impact of the flu in France are also a
reminder of how important it is for the public and NHS staff to get their flu
jab to protect themselves and those they come in to contact with.”