Information for Hailsham residents: Keeping safe and healthy during winter
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KEEPING WARM AT HOME AND HEALTHY DURING WINTER
Who's most at risk from colder weather?
Some people are more vulnerable to the effects of colder weather during the winter months, including:
- people aged 65 or above
- babies and children under the age of 5
- people on a low income (who may not be able to afford heating)
- people who have a long-term/underlying health condition
- people with a disability
- pregnant women
- people who have a mental health condition
Seek advice if you feel unwell
If you are 65 or over, or in one of the other at-risk groups, it's important to seek medical help as soon as you feel unwell.
You can obtain help and advice from:
- a pharmacy – pharmacists can give treatment advice for a range of minor illnesses and can tell you if you need to see a doctor
- your GP – you may be able to speak to a GP online or over the phone, or go in for an appointment if they think you need to
- NHS 111 – go to 111.nhs.uk or call 111 if you have an urgent medical problem and you’re not sure what to do
Get a flu vaccine
Influenza, or the flu, will often get better on its own, but it can cause serious illness among older and more vulnerable people. Therefore, it is important to get the flu vaccine if you're advised to.
Information on the flu vaccine can be found here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/ If you are aged 65 or over, you are also eligible for the pneumococcal vaccine, which will help protect you from pneumonia.
Keep your home warm
Follow these tips to help keep you and your family in good health at home:
- If you are aged 65 or over, or have an underlying health condition including heart or respiratory illnesses, heat your home to at least 18C
- On colder nights, use a hot water bottle or electric blanket to keep warm in bed – but do not use both at the same time
- Eat at least 1 hot meal a day – eating on a regular basis helps keep you warm
- Consume hot drinks regularly
- Be sure to draw curtains at dusk and keep doors closed to block out any draughts
- Make sure your heating system is checked regularly by a qualified professional
Free 'Warm Home Check' service
East Sussex County Council provides a free 'Warm Home Check' Service for low-income households who own or privately rent their property. If you are on a low income and are either: an older person, a family with children, a disabled person or someone with a long-term health condition (or if anyone in your household is), then you may qualify for this service.
The Warm Home Check includes:
- A full assessment of your home and how best to keep it warm
- Small preventative works, such as improving insulation or repairing boilers
- Emergency temporary heating
- Advice on getting help with the cost of heating your home
It is quick and easy to self-refer online for a Warm Home check . Alternatively, text WARM to 81400 or Call 03444 111 444.
KEEPING SAFE WHEN OUTSIDE DURING WINTER
Colder winter conditions bring with it potential hazards such as snow and ice, therefore the Town Council is urging residents to take extra care when out and about at this time of year.
There are lots of people involved in keeping the town and its roads and footpaths as accessible and safe as possible in winter.
General hints and tips
- Check for the latest weather updates before leaving your home
- Never assume that roads, footpaths and public spaces have been gritted
- Allow yourself more time for your journeys, even short trips to the supermarket or local shops
- Dress for the weather at the time and take extra warm clothing with you in the car just in case
- If you’re walking or cycling, be sure to wear sensible and suitable footwear
- If you use public transport, check bus timetables for cancellations and delays before going out
Who does what?
East Sussex County Council (ESCC):
ESCC is responsible for the highway winter service in Hailsham. With a few exceptions, ESCC grits and maintains the highways, including most of the roads locally.
ESCC has primary and secondary gritting routes - when icy conditions are forecast they will grit primary routes first (including all A and B roads and some C roads). They provide a 24/7 gritting service, scheduling gritters based on weather forecasts and road surface temperatures.
You can find out more about ESCC’s work over the winter months at https://www.eastsussexhighways.com/our-services/winter-service.
Wealden District Council (WDC):
WDC is responsible for keeping much of the town clean and tidy – including clearing fallen leaves from the pavements. WDC also has some resources which it may deploy to assist its staff, tenants and the general public in snowy and icy conditions, including precautionary salting and gritting of WDC’s car parks as well as some pavements.
Hailsham Town Council (HTC):
HTC looks after most of Hailsham’s parks and green spaces. In winter, HTC's priority is to make the key paths and routes in these spaces as safe as possible for the public and looks to support ESCC and WDC during spells of particularly inclement weather if priorities for the town change.
MESSAGE FROM THE HAILSHAM TOWN CLERK, JOHN HARRISON
"Colder temperatures and adverse weather conditions bring with it a number of health risks and can make fighting infection more difficult, particularly among older adults and other vulnerable groups.
It is important to remember that the majority of winter-related illnesses here occur at temperatures that may be considered quite mild and well before my might see frost or ice. Therefore, it is highly beneficial to check whether older and more vulnerable people you know or care for are able to keep their homes warm and to keep checking even when temperatures remain mild.
Bad weather during the winter months can also make some people more susceptible to accidents such as slips and falls. Add to that, it can become increasingly difficult for the elderly or those with underlying conditions to collect medicines or shop for food.
For this reason, we are publishing useful information that can help better prepare people in the local community for the winter climate and adverse weather conditions.
This winter, we face significant additional problems associated with the current cost-of-living crisis and difficulty heating homes due to the rising cost if energy bills. Local community groups and voluntary associations have always been quick to respond to the needs of the people of our town."