Big Chill for Essex sparks health warning

The Met Office has forecast a cold snap this week with a strong chance of severe cold weather, icy conditions and heavy snow in Essex.

The cold weather alert is a Level Three meaning average temperatures have fallen, or are about to fall, to 2C or less with a warning for heavy snow or widespread icy conditions likely to be issued.

The severe cold weather is expected to continue into Friday posing a health risk to vulnerable people, that is the very young, very old or those with chronic diseases.

Residents are urged to look out for elderly and vulnerable relatives and neighbours.
Basildon and Brentwood CCG is working with partners across the NHS, social care and other agencies to protect the health of everyone including vulnerable people.

Cold weather increases the risk of heart attacks, stroke, lung illnesses and other diseases. People slip and fall in the snow and ice, sometimes suffering serious injuries and driving conditions can be hazardous. Some groups, such as older people, very young children and people with serious medical conditions are particularly vulnerable to the effects of cold weather.

But there actions you can take to protect yourself and others who may be at risk in winter:

  • Keep your home warm to at least 18C. Keep in the warmth by drawing your curtains at dusk and make sure your radiators are not obstructed by furniture or curtains

  • Look after yourself with nutritious hot food and drinks. Stock up on tinned and frozen foods so you don’t have to go out too much when it’s cold and icy.

  • Wear lots of thin layers to maintain body heat.
  • Wear good fitting slippers indoors and shoes with good grip when going outside.
  • Make sure you have spare medication in case you are unable to go out.

Look after others – check on older neighbours or relatives, especially those living alone or those who have serious illnesses to make sure they are safe, warm and well

If you think you need medical help call NHS 111. Fully trained advisors are available 24 hours a day and can put you through to healthcare professionals.

Look online at for trusted information on symptoms and treatments.

At the first sign of illness your local pharmacist can offer expert advice on common illnesses and self care without the need for a GP appointment.
Your GP surgery will have GPs and nurses who can see you for a number of conditions and injuries. Outside normal surgery times, you can see a GP at the out-of-hours-service. Call NHS 111 to access.

If you are worried and think your situation is life-threatening or an emergency, don’t hesitate to call 999.


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