With colder weather forecast for Gloucestershire over the coming days, the NHS in Gloucestershire is urging people to do what they can to keep themselves warm, well and healthy.

Dr Hein Le Roux, Clinical Lead for Health and Wellbeing for NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) advises that although cold weather can worsen some health conditions, there are lots of simple things people can do to help keep well.

“From keeping your home safe to wearing the right clothes and doing some exercise, there’s a lot you can do to ensure you keep safe and healthy during a cold spell”, he advises.

“The cold weather is especially dangerous for older people or people with serious illnesses so it’s really important that people look out for each other and check on elderly neighbours. It can be very lonely for people who can usually get out and about but who are temporarily housebound – just knowing that someone is there to help can bring them a lot of comfort.”

If you are an older person or have a health condition and are starting to feel unwell, the best thing to do is to get early advice, for example from the community pharmacy or by calling NHS 111.

Dr Le Roux added:

“Cold homes have a significant impact on people’s health, so keeping warm is really important. Exercise is also really important whatever your age – it’s the most effective thing you can do to keep actively involved in all the things you enjoy.”

Simple measures to keep well include:

  • Drawing curtains at dusk and keeping doors closed to block out draughts will keep houses warm.
  • Heating your home to at least 18C, particularly if you have reduced mobility, are 65 or over, or have a health condition such as heart or lung disease (if you’re under 65 and healthy, you can safely have your house cooler than 18C)
  • If you are an older person or have a long term health condition and are starting to feel unwell, get early advice from your local pharmacy before it gets more serious. Further advice can be found at: nhs.uk/staywell
  • Having regular hot drinks and at least one hot meal a day – eating regularly helps keep energy levels up during winter
  • Wearing several light layers of warm clothes (rather than one chunky layer)
  • Keeping as active as possible and taking regular exercise
  • Wrapping up warm and wearing shoes with a good grip
  • Looking out for neighbours and older people who may be vulnerable to the cold
  • Taking up the offer of the free flu vaccination if you are eligible (in a ‘high risk’ group). Speak to your GP surgery for more information


Further information and cold weather advice: