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Dr James Marsh, Joint Medical Director and Renal Consultant

Stay well during the cold spell with advice from Epsom and St Helier

As temperatures have plummeted this week and are set to stay low, doctors at Epsom and St Helier hospitals are advising people to take extra care to stay warm and well.

The MET office has issued a cold weather warning for parts of the country, including Sutton and Surrey, warning people that there’s a 90% probability of severe cold weather, icy conditions and snow between Monday 21 and Friday 25 January. This type of cold weather can pose a risk to everyone, but especially those who are elderly, small children or sick – which is why doctors at Epsom and St Helier are asking people to be careful and stay warm.

Dr James Marsh, Joint Medical Director and Deputy Chief Executive, said: “Whilst this winter hasn’t been too cold so far this is set to change this week. With a warning of harsh cold weather and the possibility of ice and snow set for the week ahead it is important that people do what they can to look after themselves and stay warm.

“Cold weather can have an impact on people’s health and can often cause an increase in illness and injuries (as there’s greater risk of slipping on ice or wet leafs), and can make you feel even worse if you are already feeling unwell. However, there are easy things that everyone can do to help keep the effects of the cold away.”

Some top tips for the cold weather are:

  1. Wear several layers of warm clothing, like gloves, scarves, jumpers and coats.
  2. If ice has  formed outside make sure you footwear is practical and has good grip, as well as being waterproof and insulated if possible
  3. If you know any vulnerable people (such as the elderly or sick) then please check in regularly
  4. Keep warm - try to keep your entire house heated to at least 18 degrees, this includes making sure any windows or doors are shut
  5. Eating regularly helps keep up your energy levels during winter, so try to eat at least one hot meal a day and have regular hot drinks
  6. Try to keep active – even walking around your office or room for a while is enough to keep you warm.

Dr Marsh added: “These tips should hopefully help to stop you from feeling the full effects of the cold, but if you do feel ill please speak to your pharmacist or dial NHS 111 as your first port of call.

“What is more, it still is not too late to protect yourselves with a flu jab. If you still haven’t had your jab then we urge you to speak to your pharmacist or GP as soon as possible.”

You can find more information to help you keep warm and well on https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/keep-warm-keep-well/, and you can keep up-to-date with the weather forecast by checking the MET office website https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/forecast.

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