Health bosses have sent a timely health reminder to people in Milton Keynes as Christmas approaches.
Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group (MK CCG), which oversees healthcare across the city, is advising local residents this Winter to make sure that they protect their health in the cold weather by staying warm and eating healthily.
Anyone who qualifies for a free flu jab, including the over-65s, pregnant women and those with a long-term health condition, are reminded that it is available at your GP practice.
Everyone should take extra care when outside and be wary of icy pavements and roads, and keep an eye out for the daily weather forecasts. Heating your home to at least 18C, and wrapping up in warm clothing, will help keep out the chill. MKCCG also recommends eating healthily, as food is a vital source of energy that helps to keep your body warm, and drinking plenty of fluids.
Figures show that during Winter 2013/14, there were an estimated 18,200 deaths in England and Wales linked to the cold weather, with most deaths occurring in people aged over 75. 11.6 per cent more people died in the winter months compared with the non-winter months in 2013/14, although this was the lowest-ever number of winter deaths recorded since records began in 1950/51.
If you are unwell and don’t know what to do, you can also call the NHS 111 helpline for health advice.
Dr Nicola Smith, GP chair of MKCCG, said: “During Winter, you are more susceptible to getting ill and when the temperature starts to plummet, the risk becomes even more acute. As Winter approaches, it is important to advise people to be prepared for the low temperatures by wrapping up to keep the body warm and eating well.
“The cold weather can often take you by surprise and if it turns extremely cold in the coming weeks, it’s important that you make sure yourself and your family keep warm and cosy and well.”
For more information, visit www.miltonkeynesccg.nhs.uk/keep-warm-keep-well