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Stay safe and well in the cold weather

As the UK braces itself for an exceptionally cold spell of weather this week, health leaders in Derbyshire are urging the most vulnerable to take a few simple precautions to protect themselves from the cold – as it could save their life.

The call follows a level three cold weather alert issued by the Met Office earlier today (four is the highest level of alert). A level three alert is issued when mean temperatures fall to below 2 degrees Celsius for 48 hours or longer and/or there is heavy snow and/or widespread ice.

Speaking on behalf of the four Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in Derbyshire, Dr Ben Milton, said:

"Prolonged periods of cold weather can be dangerous, especially for the very young, very old or those with chronic diseases. However, by taking a few simple precautions, the risks posed by an extended period of very cold weather can be greatly reduced. Here are our top tips to stay sage and well during the cold weather:

• Heat your home well by setting your heating to the right temperature (between 18- 21ºC).

• If you feel cold at night, use a hot water bottle or electric blanket – but never use both together.

• Eat well and have plenty of fluids - food and water are vital sources of energy and help to keep your body warm.

• Try to make sure you and your family have hot meals and drinks regularly throughout the day.

• If you take regular medications, make sure you have sufficient supplies and remedies to treat yourself when you are becoming unwell.

• Keep your medicine cabinet well stocked with over the counter medicines to treat common winter illnesses.

• Ensure that you have access to help and support when you may need it.

• Avoid unnecessary travel.

• If you do need to go out, remember to wrap up warm and take care on slippery surfaces.

Dr Milton, added:

"As the cold weather bites, people should also take time to think about how it may affect their friends, family and neighbours, particularly if they are older or very young or have pre-existing health conditions. If you can, look out for them to make sure they are safe and well.

"Low daytime temperatures, icy conditions with significant wind chill, and frequent snow showers can make travelling difficult for many so we are advising people to avoid unnecessary travel and to think carefully about how they could best access any healthcare they need. The best option may be to stay at home to recover, to visit a pharmacy for treatment, use a walk-in or urgent care centre, or to call NHS 111 for advice and signposting to a healthcare service."

For more winter health advice, people are advised to:

• Visit

• Sign up to the NHS Choices newsletter. It’s packed full of useful advice for staying healthy in cold weather.

• Read Met Office advice for when travelling during heavy snow and on icy roads.

• Visit the Health A-Z section on the NHS Choices website, or download Self Care Forum's fact sheets from their website for advice on how to treat minor illnesses.

Buxton Health Hub

It is important to note that whilst some recent newspaper articles have suggested that the 3 GP practices in Buxton WILL be involved in the project for the former Buxton Water site, nothing has been confirmed as yet and discussions are at a very early stage. The involvement of Stewart Medical Centre will be dependent on a number of factors and we will of course keep our patients up to date with any news.

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Closed for training

All surgeries across North Derbyshire close one afternoon per month for staff training and development. The Stewart Medical Centre will be closed from lunchtime on the following dates in 2018:

Wednesday March 14th

Wednesday April 11th

Wednesday May 9th

Wednesday June 13th

Wednesday July 11th

Wednesday September 12th

Wednesday October 10th

Wednesday November 14th

If you require medical assistance when we are closed, you can do this by calling 111 or the surgery number, 01298 22338 where you will be transferred to the out of hours service.

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