As of Thursday 30 November, the amber Cold-Health Alerts (CHAs) issued by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and the Met Office have been upgraded in 2 regions of England.
Five regions of England are now under an amber alert, while a further four are currently under a yellow alert.
The regions included in the amber alert are:
- East Midlands
- West Midlands
- North West
- North East
- Yorkshire and The Humber
The regions included in the yellow alert are:
- South West
- South East
- East of England
The alert is currently in place from 6pm on Tuesday 28 November to midday on Tuesday 5 December.
Under the new CHA system introduced by UKHSA and the Met Office, an amber alert means that cold weather impacts are likely to be felt across the whole health service for an extended period of time, with potential for the whole population to be at risk and where other sectors may also start to observe impacts, indicating a coordinated response is required. A yellow alert means that any impacts include the increased use of health care services by vulnerable populations and an increase in risk to health for individuals over the age of 65, those with pre-existing health conditions, including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases and some other vulnerable groups, such as those sleeping rough.
Dr Agostinho Sousa, Head of Extreme Events and Health Protection at UKHSA, said:
“With a risk of widespread overnight frosts and some snow across the country this week, it’s important to check in on the wellbeing of those most vulnerable to the cold.
“Cold weather can have a serious impact on health, particularly older people, and those with pre-existing health conditions, as it increases the risks of heart attacks, strokes, and chest infections.
“If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over the age of 65, it is important to try and heat the rooms where you spend most of your time in, such as your living room or bedroom.”