The Met Office has forecast that in at least the next 2 to 3 days there is a 80% chance of severe cold weather/icy conditions/heavy snow in north east England, north west England, Yorkshire and the Humber, West Midlands, East Midlands, east of England and southeast England regions being low enough on at least 2 consecutive days to give rise to significant health risks, and a 70% chance of the same occurring in London, and a 60% chance of the same in southwest England.
The Cold Weather Plan defines this as a Level 2 Alert. The Met Office website’s ‘Winter Weather Warning Service’ page provides further details.
Severe cold weather 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 somebody you know can be obtained from the NHS Choices website. Alternatively ring NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 or contact 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.