UKHSA issues Cold-Health Alert

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and the Met Office have issued an amber Cold-Health Alert in three regions of England and a yellow Cold-Health Alert in two regions.

The North East, North West and Yorkshire and the Humber are included in the amber alert, while the East Midland and West Midlands are under the yellow alert.

The alert is in place from 6pm on Tuesday 28 November to midday on Tuesday 5 December.

Areas under the amber alert have forecasted average temperatures of 2°C or less, with wintry showers, icy conditions and snow.

An amber alert means that cold weather impacts are likely to be felt across the whole health service for an extended period of time, with potential for the whole population to be at risk and where other sectors may also start to observe impacts, indicating a coordinated response is required.

A yellow alert indicates the increased use of health care services by vulnerable populations and an increase in risk to health for individuals over the age of 65, those with pre-existing health conditions, including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases and some other vulnerable groups, such as those sleeping rough.

Dr Agostinho Sousa, head of extreme events and health protection at UKHSA, said: "With a risk of widespread overnight frosts and some snow across the country this week, it’s important to check in on the wellbeing of those most vulnerable to the cold.

"Cold weather can have a serious impact on health, particularly older people, and those with pre-existing health conditions, as it increases the risks of heart attacks, strokes, and chest infections.

"If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over the age of 65, it is important to try and heat the rooms where you spend most of your time in, such as your living room or bedroom."