Stay warm and well this winter

Author: Nick Griffin


This winter the council is working with the British Red Cross to make sure older and vulnerable residents are warm and safe after returning home following a spell in hospital.

The British Red Cross are working with the council’s Environmental Health Team to provide the Home from Hospital Service which offers ‘Winter Warm’ packs to vulnerable people living in cold homes who are returning from a stay in hospital.

The packs are intended to help people recovering at home and are valuable in emergencies such as power outages for the most vulnerable and at risk. They include items such as a warm blanket, hat, gloves, socks, hot water bottle, thermos cup, thermometer and information. 

Keeping warm over winter helps prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems like pneumonia.

It is important that people keep their home at the right temperature, for a healthy adult your main living room should be between 18-21°C (64-70°F) and the recommendation is slightly higher at 21°C for vulnerable people.

When room temperatures fall below 16°C there is an increased risk of chest infections. Below 12°C and a person’s arteries will narrow, raising blood pressure and dramatically increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Keeping doors closed to stop draughts, pulling curtains at dusk, wearing several layers of clothing, having regular hot drinks and soup, and keeping active can all help.

Residents can play their part by checking on vulnerable loved ones and neighbours during cold weather, and help pass on further information, advice and emergency numbers.

More information and advice, including a printable fact sheet, can be found on the council’s website.

There is also information available on grants, funding and assistance to help vulnerable residents keep their homes warm.

Councillor Helena Hart, Chairman of the Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “With the weather starting to turn cold it is important that people take care of themselves and others over the coming months.

“The initiative involving the Environmental Health Team and the British Red Cross is a fantastic piece of additional support to the help already on offer.

“People returning home from a stay in hospital sometimes need extra support and that support is particularly important during the winter.”

Debby Mulling, British Red Cross Service Manager, added: “Our Home from Hospital service helps 200 people every year get back to their own homes and readjust to living independently after a hospital stay.

“We know that the cold and dark of winter can be particularly difficult for the vulnerable people we support when they arrive home, so we are very grateful for the support of Barnet Council in providing ‘winter warm’ packs.

“These will help people recovering at home to stay cosy and healthy during the cold weather, and may mean they can stay in the comfort of their homes rather than heading back to hospital.”