St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has launched an innovative new campaign to keep elderly and vulnerable patients in the community warm and well in their own homes during the cold weather.

The Winter Warmers initiative sees the trust working with the Leonard Cheshire Disability charity and Age UK to reach as many vulnerable patients as possible. Specialist instructors will be visiting specialist day centres and day hospitals in Wandsworth to teach a home exercise programme designed to keep people active, healthy and warm at home.

The initiative aims to keep people warm by issuing the Winter Warmers package, which includes a room thermometer, gloves, blankets and heat packs to make sure patients are well equipped to stay warm.

Digital radios will also be given out to help reduce feelings of loneliness and enable access to DAB radio stations such as The Wireless, which will blast out morale-boosting show tunes, remind people of their exercises and how to stay warm.

As the exercise programme rolls out over the coming months, the show will run reminder messages on the digital radios so that people don’t forget the exercises they were taught in class.

Bernadette Kennedy, head of integrated falls and bone health, said: “All the clinical evidence shows that keeping warm and active at home during cold periods significantly reduces the risk of being admitted to hospital, and is very good for your emotional wellbeing.

“By meeting Esta at the centres and then hearing her voice in their houses on a Saturday night we hope that exercises will continue at home.”

“Starting an initiative like this means we can get to more of our more vulnerable patients and ensure they have all they need to keep the effects of the cold at bay.”

Notes to editors

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