With temperatures set to plummet below freezing for the first time since last winter, St George’s, Epsom and St Helier Hospitals Group is advising people to take steps to stay warm and well.

The Met Office has issued a cold weather warning for much of the country, including the South East and London.

This type of weather can have an impact on people’s health, especially those who are elderly, very young, or sick, and also typically results in an increase in injuries such as falls.

But there are steps you can take to look after yourself and your loved ones – as well as help NHS staff during a very busy time. These include:

  • Wearing several layers of warm clothing, like gloves, scarves, jumpers and coats
  • Making sure you wear practical footwear with a good grip when going outside
  • Checking in on vulnerable people regularly
  • Keeping warm. You should try to keep your entire house heated to at least 18 degrees Celsius, and make sure any windows or doors are shut. You may be entitled to some financial support, which you can find out more about here.
  • Eating regularly. This helps keep up your energy levels during winter, so try to eat at least one hot meal a day and have regular hot drinks. If you need support, Surrey County Council has a hub, that you can access, as does Wandsworth Council, Merton Council and Sutton Council.
  • Trying to keep active. Even walking around your office or room for a while will help to keep you warm

If you have a cold, cough, or other minor illness a pharmacy could help. You should also use NHS 111 if you need medical help and are unsure what to do next.

And, of course, you can protect yourself, your loved ones, and the NHS this winter by getting your flu jab and Covid booster, if eligible. You can find more information from the NHS here.

You can keep up-to-date with the weather forecast by checking the Met Office’s website here.