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Nurses reminded of dangers of cold weather to vulnerable patients

Nurses have been reminded of the dangers of cold weather to vulnerable patients after the Met Office issue alert.
cold weather

Nurses have been reminded of the dangers of cold weather to vulnerable patients after the Met Office issued a weather alert.

All parts of England, except for London, are likely to experience prolonged low temperatures over the next few days, according to the Met Office, with temperatures in the Midlands falling to -7C.

Public Health England (PHE) says that the level 2 cold weather alert places those with long-term conditions, the very young and older people at increased risk of health problems.

Advice for vulnerable patients

The Cold Weather Plan for England urges nurses who visit peoples homes to check the room temperature and ensure that at least one room reaches a suitable

Nurses have been reminded of the dangers of cold weather to vulnerable patients after the Met Office issued a weather alert.


Older people should maintain a room temperature of at least 18°C in their homes. Picture: Alamy

All parts of England, except for London, are likely to experience prolonged low temperatures over the next few days, according to the Met Office, with temperatures in the Midlands falling to -7°C. 

Public Health England (PHE) says that the level 2 cold weather alert places those with long-term conditions, the very young and older people at increased risk of health problems.

Advice for vulnerable patients

The Cold Weather Plan for England urges nurses who visit people’s homes to check the room temperature and ensure that at least one room reaches a suitable level.

The government’s Keep Warm Keep Well information booklet recommends a room temperature of at least 18°C for those with reduced mobility, over the age of 65 or with health conditions.

Nurses should remind patients of the actions they can take to protect themselves during the cold spell, such as getting the flu vaccination, keeping warm and having hot drinks and meals.

They should contact those most at risk and implement care plans, where appropriate.

Healthcare staff should also prepare for disruption to their work caused by bad weather.

‘Cold does kill’

Angie Bone, from the extreme events team at PHE, said: ‘Cold does kill, even in places where the temperatures aren’t at their lowest.’

On average there are 25,000 excess winter deaths in England each year, many related to living in cold homes and infectious diseases such as the flu.

According to the Met Office, Wednesday will be cold and sunny across southern counties of England and Wales, with cloud in the north pushing southwards. Scotland may experience gales in the far north.

Andy Page, chief operational meteorologist at the Met Office, said: ‘High pressure will bring generally dry and settled conditions this week, with clear skies and light winds allowing a widespread frost to occur on Monday and Tuesday night.

From Wednesday onwards cloudier and slightly less cold conditions will arrive across northern England, therefore overnight frosts will become fewer and less severe in the north but cold weather may persist across the south where skies remain clearer.’

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