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Top tips to keep your family and friends safe and well this winter

With the prospect of freezing temperatures and further snow forecast for Herefordshire this week, healthcare professionals are urging local people to keep an eye on their elderly neighbours.

The Met Office’s yellow warning for snow advises that an icy blast from the east will bring snow and freezing temperatures this week.

This means more people are at risk of injuries from slips, strips and falls. Those who need to take extra care are the elderly and people with a long term health condition, such as heart or lung disease.

Fiona Blackwell, general manager, acute and emergency medicine at Wye Valley NHS Trust, said: “Cold weather can lead to serious health problems, such as heart attacks and strokes. It can make chest conditions worse, particularly for older people, the very young and those with pre-existing health conditions.

“It doesn’t take much to keep an eye on an elderly neighbour or relative, particularly if they live alone. A quick visit or phone call to make sure they’re ok could nip a problem in the bud and prevent a visit to hospital,” added Fiona. 

Her top tips to stay well in winter include keeping warm, regular hot drinks, eating well and staying active. “Even a small amount of exercise, such as gentle movements inside the house when it’s icy and slippery outside, can bring health benefits. 

“Avoid going out in the cold weather and icy conditions wherever you can. If your journey is absolutely necessary, make sure you take extra care and wear flat, sensible shoes, as well as wrapping up warm.

“If your health deteriorates, call your GP in the first instance, call in to your local pharmacy for advice, or visit website for extended GP opening hours, including evenings and weekends.  Call NHS 111 if urgent advice is needed and it’s not an emergency” 

Stay well this winter:

  • Only go out in severe weather if absolutely necessary
  • Visit to view road closures and gritting routes.
  • If you are going outside, make sure you wrap up well and wear flat, sensible shoes
  • Take in lots of hot drinks and meals like stews and soups
  • Keep your living room at 70°F (21°C)
  • Keep your bedroom at 65°F (18°C)
  • Keep your curtains open in the day, and closed at night
  • If you can’t get out and about, speak to friends, family and neighbours to see if they can help you out.



Note to editors:

Wye Valley NHS Trust is a provider health services across Herefordshire and beyond.

The Trust exists to improve the wellbeing, independence and health of the people we serve. We are the leading provider of health care in Herefordshire.

By working closely with our partners, we can make good our promise to deliver a quality of care we would want for ourselves, our families and our friends.

With an estimated annual turnover of around £180 million, we employ around 2,700 plus staff. We aim to build new relationships between our staff, patients, service users and their carers with the wider community.

For further information please contact:

John Burnett, Communication and Engagement Manager, Wye Valley NHS Trust: 01432 372928 or Amanda Millichip and Fiona Gurney on 01432 355444 x5105

Contact Details

John Burnett
Communication and engagement manager
Tel: 01432 372928

Amanda Millichip
Communications officer
Tel: 01432 372928

Fiona Gurney
Communications officer
Tel: 01432 372928


Postal address:

Wye Valley NHS Trust
The County Hospital
Trust Headquarters
Union Walk

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