Doctors issue warning over winter deaths

Doctors issue warning over winter deaths

Doctors issue warning over winter deaths

First published in News Ilkley Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

People across Wharfedale are being urged to stay warm this winter and not become a statistic.

There are between 25,000 and 30,000 deaths in the UK every winter linked to the cold weather, and that is why GPs across Bradford and Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven are urging people to keep the chill off.

The advice is part of a new winter health campaign funded by NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in West Yorkshire, which includes radio adverts and a new website at nhsstaywell.org.

“Keeping warm over the winter months can protect you from colds and flu as well as more serious conditions such as pneumonia, depression and even heart attacks and strokes,” said Dr Andy Withers, clinical chairman of Bradford Districts CCG.

“People need to take extra care to guard against these conditions if they are aged over 65 or if they already have a long-term health condition such as heart, lung or kidney disease. If it is particularly cold outside, patients who suffer from a heart or respiratory problem would be best to stay inside and keep warm.”

Patients with a disability, or on a low income, may be more vulnerable to cold-related illnesses according to medical experts, who say it has been proved that cold homes can have a significant impact on people’s health.

Government guidelines recommend the main living room should be around 18-21 C (65-70F) with the rest of the house at a minimum of 16C (61F.) The new winter website gives advice on keeping warm in bed by using hot water bottles or electric blankets, the importance of keeping the body properly fuelled with regular hot meals and drinks throughout the day, and how keeping active can also help the body maintain temperature.

If people are struggling to keep their homes warm, they could be eligible for winter fuel payments of up to £300 – available for those born on or before July 5, 1951.

To find out more call, 08459 151515 Monday to Friday between 8.30am and 4.30pm or visit gov.uk/ winter-fuel-payment.

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