Cold weather warning for Sandwell and West Birmingham residents

Text size:
SWTW cold weatherUPDATE: The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for snow, ice, very cold temperatures and strong winds for the Sandwell and West Birmingham area from Thursday 1 until Saturday 3 March 2018.

Residents are being advised to take extra precautions as colder weather sweeps across the area this weekend. NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is warning that prolonged periods of cold weather can be dangerous, especially for the very young, very old or those with chronic diseases.

The cold weather can take its toll on your body, particularly if you are more susceptible to illness because you are elderly or have a long-term medical condition. So, we are urging the most vulnerable to take a few simple precautions to protect themselves from the cold. Keep yourself warm in and outdoors. If you suffer from a long-term medical condition, are pregnant, or over 65 make sure you book an appointment to have your flu jab today.

If you take regular medications, make sure you have sufficient supplies and remedies to treat yourself when you are becoming unwell. Ensure that you have access to help and support when you may need it.

Before bad weather arrives is a good time for everyone to think about how the bad weather may affect friends and family, particularly if they are older or very young or have pre-existing health conditions. These groups can be particularly vulnerable to the ill-effects of cold so think now what you could do to help.

It only takes a few simple measures to protect yourself and your family from winter-related illnesses and incidents. People can keep warm and healthy by following our five top tips.

1. Heat your home well. By setting your heating to the right temperature (between 18-21ºC) you can still keep your home warm and lower your bills. If you feel cold at night, use a hot water bottle or electric blanket – but never use both together. It is especially important if you’re at home all day.

2. Eat well and have plenty of fluids. Food and water are vital sources of energy, and they help keep your body warm. Try to make sure you and your family have hot meals and drinks regularly throughout the day.

3. Get a flu jab. You can get free flu jabs to protect against seasonal flu from your GP or local pharmacy if you are over 65, pregnant, or have a long-term condition.

4. Look after yourself and others. On cold days try to avoid going outside. However, if you do need to go out, remember to wrap up warm and take care on slippery surfaces. If you have an older neighbour or relative, look out for them during the winter to make sure they are safe and well.

5. Keep your medicine cabinet well stocked. If you’re on medication, make sure you get your repeat prescriptions in time so you don’t run out.

If you haven’t already, talk to your GP practice about registering for Patient Online. Simply complete the paperwork and you’ll be able to request repeat prescriptions online as well as make GP appointments. Check to make sure you have enough over the counter remedies for coughs and colds so you don’t need to leave home unless you have to. 

To keep up to date with the latest forecasts keep an eye on the Met Office website, https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/ and for more advice on how to stay healthy and well during the cold weather visit www.nhs.co.uk/staywell