The following information is from our colleagues at Shropshire Council:


With the cold weather now upon us health teams across Shropshire are urging residents across the county prepare for the cold months ahead and to keep warm and well this winter.

The call comes following today’s launch of a national campaign led by NHS England and Public Health England, to help people prepare for winter weather. The message is to “Stay well this winter”, and aims to encourage people most at risk from cold weather, including those with long-term health conditions and the over 65s, to prepare for the lower temperatures.

Severe cold weather can be dangerous, and keeping yourself warm throughout the winter months is essential to staying healthy, especially for the very young, older people or those with a chronic condition such as heart disease and asthma.

Shropshire Council’s ‘Stay safe and well this winter’ website offers a range of advice and information, from helping vulnerable people to remain safe and well, to notifications of school closures and travel updates.

The website signposts people to a wide range of both local and national winter-related information which includes:

  • Stay well this winter, NHS advice – to help those people who are most at risk of illness during winter to take steps to stay well, including make sure you get your flu jab.
  • Keep well and warm – Government advice on staying well in cold weather, covering issues such as financial help, healthy lifestyle and heating.
  • Road gritting – updates on where and when gritters are out in Shropshire.
  • Staying safe – advice on how to stay safe during the festive season and throughout the year.
  • Get Ready for Winter – Met Office advice and information of the dangers posed by winter weather and provide tips and advice on how to minimise its impact.
  • Weather warnings – updates from local and national weather sites.
  • Flooding advice – Government advice on preparing for a flood and getting help during and after.
  • Winter advice for older people – advice and information from Age UK.
  • Shropshire Newsroom – news and updates from Shropshire Council.
  • Travel updates – Travel updates for Shropshire.
  • What’s on – diary of council run events throughout the festive season and New Year.

Karen Calder, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for health and well-being, and Chair of Shropshire’s Health and Well-being Board, said:

“Shropshire Council’s ‘stay safe and well’ pages are designed to help residents in Shropshire remain well throughout the winter period.

“The information is particularly helpful for those most at risk during the winter. People aged 65 and over, those with existing long-term health conditions and children under five are often hit worse by cold weather-related illnesses, and so the stay well this winter information targets these groups directly, as well as those people who often look after those groups such as carers and parents.

“We are urging people to take practical steps such as to wrap up warm before the temperature dial hits freezing so I’d really encourage everyone to view our stay safe and well pages, which offer invaluable advice and tips, as well as useful contacts, on keeping safe and well.”

Winter can be seriously bad for our health but there a number of things you can do to keep you and your family well this winter.

Top tips to stay safe and well include:

  • Get your flu jab! Cold weather can be very harmful, especially for people aged 65 or older: it weakens the immune system, increases blood pressure, thickens the blood and lowers body temperature, increasing risks of high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, and chest infections.
  • Keep warm! It is important to keep warm in winter – both inside and outdoors as it can help to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems, such as heart attacks, strokes pneumonia and depression. Heat your home to at least 18°C (65°F), if you can, you might prefer your living room to be slightly warmer. Try and keep active when you’re indoors, get up and move about and try not to sit still for longer than an hour at a time. Also, try and wear several layers of light clothes, as they trap warm air better.
  • Feeling unwell. If you start to feel unwell, even if it is just a cough or cold, don’t wait until it gets more serious, get help from your pharmacist. Pharmacists are fully qualified to advise you on the best course of action, and the sooner you get advice from them, the better. They can also advise on the best medicines to have in medicines cabinet to help get you and your family through the winter. The sooner you get advice the better – pharmacists are here to help you stay well this winter.
  • Don’t forget your prescription! If you’ve been prescribed antibiotics or other medication, don’t forget to pick up your prescription before the Christmas holidays start. Many GPs and pharmacies will close over the holidays.
  • Health advice – If you do need help over the holiday period when your GP surgery or pharmacy is closed, call NHS 111 or visit who can direct you to a local service that is open.
  • Look out for other people – We can all do with a little bit of extra help and support at different times. If someone you know is feeling unwell or may need some support during the cold weather ask to see if they need any practical help.

Lee Chapman, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for adults, added:

“During the colder months it’s important to keep warm, safe and well, alongside keeping an eye on those in our community who may be vulnerable and may need extra help.

“If you know someone who may be vulnerable to cold weather, be a good neighbour and check on anyone who may be more vulnerable to the cold; help ensure they are keeping well and, importantly, warm.”

For up-to-date news on emergency situations in Shropshire follow us on twitter @shropcaution.

For up-to-date news on keeping well in winter follow @shropcouncil.

Further information

Each year the NHS sees people, particularly older people, admitted to hospital, or in serious cases dying, with conditions aggravated by the cold weather. On average 25,000 deaths occur in England per year as a result of the cold temperatures.

A significant proportion of these excess winter deaths could be prevented if people take a few precautions and are prepared for winter. Those with respiratory problems should especially be prepared and take extra precautions to stay warm, as the cold can often aggravate their condition.