The Met Office has forecast that in at least the next two to three days there is an 80% chance of temperatures in the North West, North East and Yorkshire & Humber regions, being low enough on at least two consecutive days to give rise to significant health risks. There is additionally a 60% risk of the same occurring in the West Midlands, East Midlands, East of England, Southeast, Southwest and London regions. The Cold Weather Plan defines these degrees of risk as a Level 2 Alert. The Met Office website’s ‘Winter Weather Warning Service’ page provides further details.
Low temperatures can be dangerous, especially for the very young or very old or those with chronic disease. Advice on how to reduce the risk either for yourself or for somebody you know is available from the NHS Choices website, the Department of Health website, or NHS Direct on 0845 4647, or from your local GP or pharmacist.
For health and social care providers, the purpose of this message is to draw your attention to the advice set out in the Public Health Cold Weather Plan.
Specific advice on steps that may be followed by health care professionals and the managers and staff of residential and nursing homes in the event of severe cold weather is available from the Department of Health website.