Medway Community Healthcare (MCH) provides a wide range of high quality community health services for Medway residents; from health visitors and district nurses to speech and language therapists and out of hours urgent care.
Published on: 29 January 2019
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With cold and wintry weather predicted over the next few days, families across Kent are being urged to follow a few simple measures to keep their loved ones safe and healthy.
A level two cold weather alert has been announced for Kent by the Met Office which triggers actions in the NHS, public health, social care and other community organisations, to support vulnerable people who have health, housing or economic circumstances that increase their risk of harm.
The alerts warn that there is a 70% probability of severe cold weather in Southeast England between today (Tuesday 29 January) and Friday morning (1 February). The forecast warns of cold conditions persisting throughout most of the week, with snow developing overnight Tuesday into Wednesday, and also potentially Thursday Evening. The Met Office has issued a yellow snow and ice warning to cover the potential for snow and/or ice which could lead to difficult driving conditions, disruption to transport including trains and air travel, increased risk of slips and falls and the potential for isolated power outages.
Prolonged cold weather can be a risk for anyone although vulnerable people, including the elderly and children under five, are particularly at risk and common sense advice can help in severe weather, both at home or out and about.
Andrew Scott-Clark, KCC Director for Public Health, said: “We appreciate that most people will be able to look after themselves but some members of the community need help. Basic advice can help everyone prepare, such as being ready to stay indoors, making sure there is enough food and medicine at home and ordering repeat prescriptions in plenty of time. Having a family member, friend or neighbour who can help out can be vital in cold weather – helping with anything from putting the bin out to collecting a prescription or doing some grocery shopping. Please be a good neighbour and rally round, take time to care for yourself, your family and others.”
Simple tips such as making regular hot drinks and wearing several thin layers of clothes rather than one thick one can help to keep your body warm.
Andrew Scott-Clark added: “Exposure to the cold increases the risk of strokes and heart attacks - even a short time in the cold, outdoors or indoors, can have a lasting effect. People should wrap up warm to protect themselves and help those who may have difficulty following the basic advice.”
If you need to go out:
More information is available about how to keep yourself and others safe during cold weather through www.kent.gov.uk/winterhealth and www.nhs.uk/Livewell/winterhealth/Pages/Verycoldweather.aspx
People are urged not to go to A&E or call 999 unless it’s an emergency. If you are in any doubt, NHS111 can help you get the right treatment.
The free web app Health Help Now can be used to check symptoms or to find out when and where local services are open. It can also be downloaded to mobile phones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers from http://kent.healthhelpnow.nhs.uk/
News regarding Brexit and how to protect yourself can be found on the Kent Prepared website