Prolonged cold weather this weekend and into next week has prompted an official weather warning, meaning that the health and wellbeing of vulnerable people is at risk.
The current forecast indicates there is a 90 per cent probability of severe cold weather and icy conditions between now and Thursday 5 February in Warwickshire and the West Midlands.
An average temperature of only 2 degrees for a period of three consecutive days triggers the alert, which is graded at level 3 on a four-point scale. This weather increases the health risks to vulnerable people and can disrupt the delivery of services.
Cllr Bob Stevens, the county councillor responsible for health, said: “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 18C is important for your health and make sure you are wearing suitable clothing - several thin layers is better than one thick layer.”
Jaqueline Barnes, chief nurse at the NHS Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It is important that people are prepared and have adequate medication in case they are unable to get to the shops for a few days,
“Be a good neighbour and look out for the elderly, vulnerable and those who may find it difficult to get out and about during a prolonged cold snap of weather.”
Cllr Maggie O’Rourke, the county council’s chair of the overview and scrutiny committee for adults, health and social care, said: “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.”
Local pharmacists can also provide a range of services and on-the-spot help and advice on minor ailments. The walk-in centre at the Hospital of St Cross in Barby Road will also be open.
Visit http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/warnings/#?tab=warnings&map=Warnings&zoom=5&lon=-3.50&lat=55.50&fcTime=1375657200®ionName=wm for the latest updates from the Met Office.