NHS health warning as freezing temperatures hit East Surrey

The local NHS is urging residents to look after themselves during the current cold snap, which they are warning could have a devastating effect on vulnerable people, putting further pressure to local health services.

Colder weather brings a range of illnesses and ailments such as flu, coughs and colds, which can also cause great pressure on health services.

To help people stay well this winter, and to avoid adding extra pressures on local health services and emergency departments, the NHS is urging residents to:

  • Keep warm – Keeping warm over winter helps prevent colds, flu and even more serious health conditions.
  • Visit the local pharmacy – for those who start to feel unwell, don’t wait for it to get worse, visit a local pharmacist for advice.
  • Call NHS 111 – if urgent help is needed call NHS 111 for advice, assessment and to be directed to the best treatment.
  • Visit a GP – This winter more appointments are available at local GPs at evenings and weekends.
  • Take extra care - people with long term health conditions such as asthma should take extra care. For further information please click here.
  • Get a flu vaccination - it’s still not too late to get protected from the flu. Those eligible for the free flu vaccine includes pregnant women, people aged 65 years or over, those with a long-term health condition, and carers. Children aged 2 or 3 years are also eligible.

Dr David Supple, an Alliance Clinical Chair said:  “It's important to look after yourself, especially during the winter as cold weather can be seriously bad for your health.

“As the cold weather sweeps in, it’s important we do what we can for ourselves and our family to help us all stay well throughout the colder months. There are a number of steps people could take to make themselves more resilient to the cold weather - simple things such as adding extra layers and wearing shoes with good grip can make such a difference when it’s icy outside.”

“It’s particularly important to check on elderly relatives and neighbours during winter months, and popping in for chat can make the world of difference.”

More information on the health services available locally is available online.