Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Kick Winter Into Touch With Our Keep Warm Tips

Council and NHS chiefs are reminding residents to keep warm and well over the next few weeks as the county braces itself for the arrival of winter.

During the winter months, some people may be more at risk of poorer health than others.

In Cambridgeshire alone, there are around an additional 250 deaths linked to cold weather.

Cold weather is a particular risk for the health of older more frail people, for those with heart and breathing difficulties or an on-going illness.  Icy ground is a problem as it can lead to slips and falls that might cause broken bones. Local people should also keep an eye out for neighbours who they feel are at risk.

Here are five top tips to keep the home warm, to help manage bills and to stay healthy:

  1. Heat the home well Heat the home to the right temperature: the living room should be 21°C (70°F), and the bedroom and the rest of the house heated to 18°C (65°F). Above this and people may be wasting money; below this and there is a risk health. This will keep the home warm and may lower the bills 
  2. Get financial support There are grants, benefits and sources of advice available to make the home more energy efficient, improve the heating or help with bills. 
  3. Eat well and have plenty of fluids Food and water are vital sources of energy; they help keep a person’s body warm. People should make sure they and their family have hot meals and drinks regularly throughout the day. 
  4. Get a flu jab Certain groups can get a free flu jabs to protect against seasonal flu, including the over 65s, pregnant women, people with an on-going illness or if someone is the main carer of an elderly or disabled person 
  5. Look after yourself and others On cold days try to avoid going outside. If a person does need to venture out, they need to wrap up warm and take care on slippery surfaces. Look out for an older neighbour or relative during this winter to make sure they are safe and well. 

Cambridgeshire County Council and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are working closely together in partnership to make sure local people vulnerable to the cold can lower the risks of becoming ill.

Councillor Tony Orgee, Cambridgeshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Health and Well-Being, said: "I can't reiterate enough how important it for people who are vulnerable to heed the advice to keep warm and safe this winter. These simple tips can keep people healthy and can ultimately save lives too."

Dr Liz Robin, Director of Public Health for Cambridgeshire, added: “Encouraging people to keep warm and healthy during the winter is one of our key priorities - particularly for frailer older residents. The five top tips show that there are simple measures to protect yourself and your family from winter-related illnesses and incidents.”

Dr Arnold Fertig GP in Cambridge and from CamHealth Local Commissioning Group said: “Winter brings more coughs, colds and flu so it is a good idea to be prepared and to make sure you have a supply of remedies at home to help care for you and your family over the winter period.”

In addition across Cambridgeshire there are number of services available to help people stay warm and well during winter. This includes everything from energy information, room thermometers, grants and shopping services if people are unable to get out and electric blanket testing.

To find out more information, please call

  • Cambridgeshire County Council on 0345 045 5202 from 8.00am to 6.00pm Monday to Friday, and from 9.00am to 1.00pm on Saturdays. Email referral.centreadults@cambridgeshire.gov.uk. In an emergency, outside office hours, phone 01733 234724. This service is available for anyone who is in danger and unable to protect themselves or those who cannot remain in the community without immediate intervention.
  • Care Network on 01223 714 452 
  • Age UK on 01300 666 9860