City of York Council says that it is is supporting Public Health England’s Cold Weather Plan which looks at ways of reducing unnecessary deaths and illness this winter.
That’s a bit rich coming from a Council that has just decided to scrap 2/3 of the city’s self help salt bins and take around 30 miles of road off the gritting schedules.
They say that there are between 2000 and 2500 excess winter deaths each year in Yorkshire and Humber, many of which are preventable. The Cold Weather Plan aims to prevent avoidable harm to people’s health by highlighting the negative health effects cold weather can have whilst enabling people to prepare and respond appropriately.
As in previous years the Met Office will trigger cold weather alerts from 1 November to 31 March highlighting low temperatures of 2c or less or severe winter weather (heavy snow or widespread ice).
Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones, City of York Council’s Director of Adult Services, Health and Wellbeing said:
“Keeping yourself warm is essential to stay healthy in colder weather, especially for the very young, older people or those with a chronic condition such as heart disease and asthma.
“There are a range of health problems associated with cold housing and winter weather but in particular a cold indoor or outdoor environment can make heart and respiratory problems worse and can in fact be fatal.
“The Cold Weather Plan sets out actions that health and social care organisations, voluntary groups and individuals can take and plan for cold temperatures to help reduced cold-related illnesses and deaths.”
Council workers will look out for signs that vulnerable residents are not well, but residents can also help.
Dr Mark Hayes, Chief Clinical Officer for NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said:
“In common with the rest of the country, hospitals and the ambulance service are extremely busy during the winter, and with the expectation of an extreme winter weather on its way, the CCG is on alert to plan ahead as much as physically possible.
“Joined up working in health and social care is important at all times, even more so when winter arrives. We will be working very closely with our partners to ensure that the flow through our hospitals runs smoothly and that there is extra capacity available in the community for those who are ready to be discharged.”
Top tips for keeping warm and well this winter:
- Keep warm by setting your heating to the right temperature (18-21c)
- Have your flu jab to protect yourself and others from influenza, if you’re in an eligible group
- Look out for friends, relatives and neighbours who may be vulnerable in the cold
- Stay tuned to the weather forecast and plan ahead with supplies
- Have regular hot meals and drinks throughout the day and keep active to help your body stay warm
- Have your heating and cooking appliances checked regularly
- Wear a few layers of thin clothing rather than one thick layer, and when you need to go outside wear shoes with slip resistant, good grip soles.
For more advice on how to keep warm and well this winter, including details about the councils gritting routes visit http://www.york.gov.uk/
If you have serious concerns about how a vulnerable relative or friend is coping with the weather please contact the council on (01904) 555111.