Milton Keynes residents urged to keep warm during the cold spell

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Christmas is over but the cold weather certainly isn’t!

One of the best ways of keeping yourself well during the cold weather is to stay warm. NHS Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has teamed up with Milton Keynes Fire Service to encourage people to continue heating their homes safely over the winter months.

Although winter weather and snow can be fun, it is also associated with an increase in illness and injuries. However, with some simple precautions, most people can be prepared for the cold weather and prevent much of the misery often associated with winter weather.

On average, there are around 25,000 excess winter deaths each year in England. Severe cold snaps can have dramatic effects on everyday life, especially for those people who are already vulnerable because of their age, illness or disability.

Richard Priest, Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service’s community safety manager, said:

“We are not just here to provide an emergency response service when things go wrong. We do a lot of work with our police, health and council colleagues and voluntary organisations to try to make sure our communities are safe by nipping potential emergencies in the bud.

“This includes providing advice to help people cope with challenging situations, such as bad weather, and pointing them in the direction of organisations that can give them additional support.

“We are asking people to check on their elderly friends and relatives, ensure they layer up with plenty of thin layers and try to keep both their living room and bedroom warm. If using portable heaters, take care with them and make sure they are at least three feet away from everyone. It is also important to maintain a healthy diet and keep active during the cold weather.”

Dr Nicola Smith, Chair of NHS Milton Keynes CCG is also reminding people of the importance to keeping warm this winter and said:

“Keeping warm and well this winter is extremely important to keeping well and avoiding illnesses like flu. Older people are often at more risk of cold-weather-related illnesses and injuries so we are urging everyone to do their bit this winter by checking in on elderly neighbours or relatives and to raise any concerns with their local council or Age UK.

“We are asking people to ensure that their homes are being heated to at least 18C to avoid nasty winter coughs and colds.

“It’s important to contact Milton Keynes Council or call Milton Keynes Age UK on 01908 550700 if you have any concerns about your elderly neighbours or relatives.”

For fire safety related information visit the BFRS website: www.bucksfire.gov.uk/homes or contact Christine Duncan, Community Safety Co-ordinator for Milton Keynes on 01908 236413.