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13 November 2014

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You are in: Manchester > BBC Radio Manchester > BBC Radio Manchester Features > Cold: a health warning

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Cold: a health warning

It’s the cold, stark truth: every winter, as temperatures drop, thousands of people in the UK die from the cold. Now the Met Office is launching a new service in the North West to try to protect those at risk.

If you’re old, infirm or just can’t afford to put the heating on, cold can be a killer.

Met Office web page

Helpline: 0800 408 1250

Around 25,000 extra people die in England and Wales during an average winter. For each degree the temperature drops lower than average, there are a further excess 8,000 deaths. And it’s worse here than elsewhere.

The North West has the highest levels of fuel poverty in England along with some of the worst health records. It also has the highest number of people aged 65 or over who have no central heating.

It’s for this reason that a pilot scheme called The Cold Weather Health Warning is being launched in the North West to protect those people who are seen to be at risk. 

From Monday (03 Nov 2008), if the temperatures are forecast to dip below a certain threshold, weather bulletins on North West Tonight and BBC Radio Manchester will carry a helpline for people worried about themselves or their elderly relatives/ neighbours.

The Cold Weather Health Warning will be triggered when the cold weather poses a significant risk to people’s health. Half of the excess deaths caused by the cold are from strokes and heart attacks.

The helpline provides information on how to stay safe and well during a cold spell and how to get winter fuel payments or financial help with bills/insulation.

Helpline: 0800 408 1250

last updated: 04/11/2008 at 09:13
created: 31/10/2008

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