Wednesday 1 February 2012

Britain, a country where many cold, old men die in winter has the antidote in the Met Office 'Cold Weather Plan'

Britain is cold country at the moment with an anticyclone bringing cold air in from Eastern Europe, but 'Old Men of Britain', have no fear :
The Meteorological Office will be issuing 'Cold Weather Alerts' as part of the 'Cold Weather Plan' developed by the Department of Health, the Health Protection Agency and Age UK to help reduce the impact of cold weather on people's health in general this winter and your in particular.

Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director at 'Age UK' said:

"It may have been relatively mild so far this year but the winter can be a dangerous time for older people. Low temperatures raise blood pressure which puts people at a greater risk of heart attacks and strokes and well as increasing the likelihood and severity of flu and other respiratory problems.
We want older people to be able to enjoy the winter and, most importantly of all, stay well. That is why we have linked up with the Met Office to get advance information to ensure that forewarned is forearmed when it comes to winter weather."

Patrick Sachon, Health Business Manager at the Met Office said:

"With the first real cold snap of the winter, 'Age UK' demonstrates just how valuable the Cold Weather Alert Service is to the more vulnerable sectors of the community.
These alerts put everyone in a better position to respond to forecasts of severe weather, inform those who are most at risk from winter weather and what they can do to keep well."

All of this is very laudable, however, news headlines from previous winters throw into question whether the warnings address the real problems of many old men and women in winter in Britain :

Nine pensioners died from cold EVERY HOUR last winter as bill prices soar
24th November 2010

Cold homes will kill up to 200 older people a day, warns Age UK. Rising energy bills will put millions at risk from 'fuel poverty gap'
Saturday 22 October 2011

Fuel poverty and cold weather: the deaths that shame Britain

November 23rd, 2011

So old men of Britain, here is today's 'Alert' and those of you who are already cold, this will be of particular use to you :

Current alert level: Level 3
Cold Weather Action in one or more regions of England.
There is a 100% probability of severe cold weather between 10.00 on Wednesday and 10.00 on Saturday in all parts of England.
This weather could increase the health risks to vulnerable patients and disrupt the delivery of services.
Please refer to the national Cold Weather Plan and your Trust's Emergency Plan for appropriate preventive action.

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