News story

Winterwatch launches for 2012

Winterwatch to bring you regular updates about how the NHS is coping with the increased demands on its services in the cold weather.

From today, Winterwatch will bring you regular updates about how the NHS is coping with the increased demands on its services in the cold winter months and weekly information on levels of flu-like illness and the uptake of flu vaccination.

You can sign up to get alerts when any new NHS data or flu updates are published.

Winterwatch, originally launched in 2010, is part of a wider suite of work by the Department, such as the Cold Weather Plan, Keep Warm Keep Well, and the Warm Homes Healthy People Fund, that will help protect people and keep them informed about the effects of severe winter weather.

Cold weather increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes, lung illnesses, flu and other diseases. People also slip and fall in the snow or ice causing serious injuries.

Approximately 27,000 more people die each year in England over the winter months when compared with other times of the year. This is often referred to as ‘excess winter deaths’ or ‘excess winter mortality’. Very severe weather can substantially add to this death toll. You can view the data on the Office for National Statistics website.

General information on keeping safe and well when the weather is cold is given on NHS Choices.

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