Cold Weather Alert - 16 January 2023
The Met Office has now issued a Level 3 Cold Weather Alert. There is a 90% probability of severe cold weather and icy conditions from 0900 on Monday 16 Jan and 0900 on Friday 20 Jan in the Southeast, including Wokingham. This means that temperatures are likely to drop to levels that increase the risk of ill health among vulnerable people, including those with long term conditions and those living in cold homes.
Please ensure that departmental and service level cold weather plans and business continuity plans are now activated, and staff are aware of the actions they will take to protect vulnerable residents
- Heating homes to at least 18°C (65F) in winter poses minimal risk to the health of a sedentary person, wearing suitable clothing.
- The 18°C (65F) threshold is particularly important for people 65 years and over or with pre-existing medical conditions; having temperatures slightly above this threshold may be beneficial for health
- maintaining the 18°C (65F) threshold overnight may be beneficial to protect the health of those 65 years and over or with pre-existing medical conditions; they should continue to use sufficient bedding, clothing and thermal blankets, or heating aids as appropriate
- There is an existing recommendation to reduce sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Advice is that rooms in which infants sleep should be heated to between 16 to 20°C (61 to 68F)
“Make sure that you stay warm. If going outside, make sure you dress appropriately. If indoors, make sure that you keep your heating to the right temperature; heating your home to at least 18°C in winter poses minimal risk to your health when you are wearing suitable clothing. If there is anyone you know who might be at special risk, for example, an older person living on their own, make sure they know what to do to stay warm and are well stocked with food and medications. If you are worried about your health or that of somebody you know, ring NHS 111
More information is available on the winter health pages at NHS Choices (www.nhs.uk).
Attached are some resources that were previously sent in your level 1 winter preparedness email:
- ‘Keep Warm Keep Well’ leaflet for the public and professionals, giving advice on staying well in cold weather, covering issues such as financial help, healthy lifestyles, the flu vaccine and heating advice
- Cold Weather Plan For England
- A slide deck with all the key messages and actions for cold weather preparedness in Berkshire (attachment)
- ‘Stay Well This Winter’ NHS leaflet
- Advice and recommendations for home improvements using the government website here https://www.gov.uk/improve-energy-efficiency
- Advice and recommendations for home improvements using the government website here https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/energy-at-home/
- Connecting Communities in Berkshire (tailored energy advice) https://ccberks.org.uk/our-projects/energy-advice-and-fuel-poverty/
- 2022 to 2023 cold weather plan for England
- Action Cards Provider organisations – Health and social care
- Berkshire Cold weather preparedness
- Cold Weather Plan – easy-read
- NHSE Stay Warm This Winter – Leaflet 2021
- Top tips to keep warm keep well 2021
- UKHSA NHS_Stay Warm this Winter 2022
This winter it is important to identify those who are at risk of living in fuel poverty and cold homes. Asking 3 key questions at contact assessment stages can help identify those at risk:
- Is your whole house warm in winter? (This question helps to identify how people are heating their home and whether they are limiting heating to certain rooms)
- Can you afford to heat your home to a comfortable level? (This question helps to identify whether occupants are meeting ‘minimum’ recommended temperatures all the time)
- Can you afford to pay your fuel bills? (This question will flag whether someone has sufficient income to spend on the fuel they need for warmth and comfort).
Winter Vaccination Information
Vaccines are the best defence we have against COVID-19 and other respiratory infections such as flu. They provide good protection against hospitalisation and death. They also reduce the risk of long-term symptoms. The government is offering help for households, see what cost of living support you could be eligible for.
If you have any questions/queries, please feel free to contact: [email protected]
Public Health Team
Wokingham Borough Council
Wokingham RG40 1BN