What is the Keep Warm Keep Well campaign?
The Keep Warm Keep Well campaign has been run annually for the last 20 years by the Department of Health. The campaign contributes to the government's PSA (Public Service Agreement) target to eliminate fuel poverty in vulnerable households in England by 2010 and also aims to diminish excess winter mortality and relieve the pressures of winter on the NHS.
The campaign also aims to build awareness of the health risks associated with cold weather, and of the grants and financial support that are available.
People can take the following practical steps to minimise the risks to themselves during periods of cold weather:
- Have regular hot drinks and at least one hot meal a day — if possible, eating regularly helps to keep energy levels up during winter
- Wear several light layers of warm clothes
- Keep as active as possible
- Remember to wrap up warm if you need to go outside on cold days
Take practical action before cold weather strikes:
- Get financial support - there are grants, benefits and sources of advice available to make your home more energy efficient, improve your heating or help with bills. It is important and beneficial to claim all the benefits you're entitled to.
- If you can, stock up on ingredients so you can have regular hot meals and drinks, and also your usual medicines, so you don't have to go out too much when it's cold.
- If possible, keeping yourself as fit and healthy as you can is important all year round. But your lifestyle can make even more of a difference when it comes to keeping well in winter.
Remember the needs of friends, relatives and neighbours who could be at risk. Cold Weather is especially dangerous for the older people or those with serious illnesses. Those with heart or respiratory problems are more likely to experience worsening symptoms during a cold spell, and for several days after temperatures have returned to normal.
Generally try to maintain your home at the right temperature (between 18 and 21 degrees centigrade or 64 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit), and if you can't heat all the rooms you use, you should heat the living room during the day and the bedroom just before you go to sleep.
For further information and advice please log on to http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/winterhealth/pages/keepwarmkeepwell.aspx
6 January 2009