Met. office responds to headlines predicting 'worst winter in decades'
The RSPCA has guidance on helping out animals during the cold weather.
Leicestershire County Council open a new grit barn in preparation for the winter
Phillip Froggatt tells ITV News Central how Derby City Council's "Stay Warm and Healthy" campaign helped his mother Margaret. Housing officers found she had no heating or hot water at her home. The team have since put an emergency heating system in place, as well as ordering a new boiler.
Safia Iqbal from Derby City Council explains what the "Stay Warm and Healthy Campaign" is all about.
Following on from the launch of the 'Stay Warm and Healthy in Derby' project, where Derby City Council are working in unison with AgeUK and the NHS, Gedling Borough Council in Nottingham has come forward with a similar scheme of its own.
A free oil-filled radiator service is being offered there to people most in need.
Part of Nottingham City Council's 'Keep Warm this Winter' campaign, the scheme aims to help elderly people, along with the disabled, those with long-term health issues and low-income families.
Last winter there were 31,000 deaths in the UK linked to cold weather. With the cold snap approaching, Derby's 'Stay Warm and Healthy' campaign, looks to raise people's awareness of vulnerable friends, relatives and neighbours.
Here's a few tips on how to keep warm and stay safe through the winter weeks and months. Experts say the elderly, in-particular, are far less likely to need hospital admissions if they get the right support.
Keeping your home warm and looking after yourself:
- Draw your curtains at dusk and keep your doors closed to block out draughts.
- Keep windows and internal doors closed to keep heat inside.
- Have your heating system serviced and your chimney swept.
- Food is a vital source of energy; eat well to keep your body warm.
- Layer your clothing, rather than one thick item.
- Heat is lost through the head and neck, so wear a hat and scarf even indoors.
- Use a hot-water bottle or electric blanket to keep warm whilst sleeping.
- Stock up on cold and flu medicines.
- Find out if you are eligible for the flu jab.
Elderly patients are more likely to end up back in hospital if they do not receive the right support when they go home.
The Royal Voluntary Service found that patients in Leicestershire who were helped by volunteers were significantly less likely to be readmitted.
Additional help is being offered to vulnerable people this winter in Derby.
The 'Stay Warm and Healthy in Derby' campaign will start today giving advice to people who are elderly, disabled or pregnant.
The city council is also urging people to check on friends, relatives and neighbours.
The NHS is urging people in the Midlands to visit their pharmacist first if they're suffering from cold or flu symptoms.
NHS England says too many people turn up at A&E rather than taking over-the-counter medicine, which is putting doctors under extra pressure.
Clinicians say it's vital people prepare for the winter by stocking up their medicine cabinet and say casualty departments should only be used in an emergency.
Fay Baillie, Director of Nursing, says the NHS is ready for winter, butthe public's help is needed to ensure the right people who need treatment are in Accident and Emergency wards.
Gritting teams across Leicester are preparing for winter as temperatures across the region are set to drop.
Snow, sleet and freezing temperatures are forecast by the middle of the week.
Leicester City Council has over 2,700 tonnes of rock salt in stock. This amount is said to last for around 100 gritting runs or about 15 days of heavy snow. The council has six gritting lorries.
Leicester City Mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby said: "Our specialist gritting teams will be paying close attention to the weather forecast over the coming days to ensure they are ready to go out at a moment's notice."
"Any snowy weather inevitably causes traffic disruption, but the hard work of the gritting teams really does help keep the city's traffic moving whatever the weather."