In response to Met Office cold weather warnings across the country this week, NHS Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Group is encouraging everyone to be prepared so they can keep warm and well.
The level 2 alert means there is an 80 per cent probability of severe cold weather or icy conditions from Monday 27 November to Saturday 2 December in parts of England, with the south experiencing near-freezing temperatures, frosts and a brisk northerly breeze from midweek onwards. Cold weather can trigger long-term health conditions such as asthma. Sufferers are advised to take preventative actions, including:
- Carrying their reliever inhaler at all times and to continue taking their regular preventer inhaler as prescribed by a doctor.
- Keep warm and dry – wear gloves, a scarf and a hat, and carry an umbrella.
- Wrap a scarf loosely over the nose and mouth to help warm up the air before it is breathed in.
- Breathe through the nose instead of the mouth, as another way to warm the air as it is inhaled.
Other general tips for staying well this winter include:
- Getting a free flu vaccination if eligible (people who are over 65, pregnant women, children aged 2-3, children aged four-eight, people with long-term conditions, people with learning disabilities and carers).
- Keep warm with layered clothing instead of one chunky layer.
- Put a hot water bottle or electric blanket in bed.
- Keep a well-stocked medicine cabinet.
- Keep a check on prescribed medications and order repeat prescriptions in good time ahead of Christmas closures.
- Talk to a local pharmacist about cough or cold symptoms and minor conditions.
- Check on older family, friends and neighbours, particularly those with long-term health conditions, or who are more vulnerable. Offer to get their shopping or pick up prescriptions if needed.
Local community pharmacist, Penny Woodgate, said: "Cold weather snaps can bring on all sorts of common complaints, many of which can be dealt with by your local community pharmacy. Participating pharmacies can also vaccinate people against flu, if they are eligible for a free NHS flu jab, making it extra convenient for time-pressed people like carers; they can also advise on medications and prescriptions or signpost you to other services for more serious ailments. However, if you think you have norovirus, also called the winter vomiting bug, the best thing is to stay home, keep hydrated and let the symptoms pass. Don’t go to your pharmacy or GP as this will only help spread the virus."
For more information please contact the Surrey Downs press office on 01372 201721.
Notes to editors:
Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Group is responsible for commissioning healthcare for over 305,000 people living in Mole Valley, Epsom and Ewell, East Elmbridge, Dorking and surrounding areas. It is made up of 31 GP practices and buys healthcare from local hospitals, community services, social care, ambulance services, mental health care and any many other services for local people. Find out more here.
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