With freezing weather conditions set to continue, the local NHS is reminding people to think of the needs of friends, elderly relatives and neighbours who could be at risk.
Official figures show the deadly impact that cold weather can have, especially on older people during winter.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that, last year, there were an estimated 25,400 excess deaths nationally, mostly linked to circulatory and respiratory diseases.
Following a few basic principles can make a big difference to the safety and wellbeing of those at risk.
Measures such as:
checking on them to make sure they are safe and well;
making sure they're warm enough, especially at night;
and stocking up on food and medicines.
Diana Grice, Director of Public for NHS East Sussex Downs and Weald and NHS Hastings and Rother, said:
“The elderly, and those who are ill, are particularly vulnerable during cold weather.
We all have a role to play in remembering the needs of friends, relatives and neighbours who could be at risk especially at this time of year.
People can also take practical steps to minimise the risks to themselves during periods of cold weather
My tips include:
For those who do need medical attention, the NHS is well prepared.
There is always more pressure on the NHS at this time of year and this year will be no different.
Local health services deal with rises in slips, trips and falls and increases in admissions due to flu and other health problems associated with the colder weather.
The NHS in East Sussex has plans in place to handle any rise in demand for services
Diana Grice added:
“Across the county, NHS staff are already working hard and doing great work to respond to this extra demand and I am very grateful for all their continued efforts.
Always dial ‘999’ in an emergency. But if you do not have an emergency, it may be more appropriate to contact NHS Direct on tel 0845 46 47, or visit your GP or local pharmacy.”
Notes for editors
For more information on winter health please visit: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/winterhealth/Pages/Winterhealthhome.aspx
Keep Warm and Well messages can be downloaded at the department of health website
© Brighton and Hove City Primary Care Trust