Oxfordshire reminded to Keep Warm Keep Well as temperatures drop

Pharmacies across Oxfordshire will be providing people with free thermometers this winter to make sure their homes are warm enough to keep them well.

Patients over 60 will be offered information cards, provided by Oxfordshire County Council, when collecting prescriptions that will remind them one of the best ways to stay well during the winter is to stay warm, and advise them to have their home heated to at least 18°C. The free hot water bottle shaped card also feature a thermometer to test the temperature of their home to make sure it’s warm enough.

People with concerns about their heating bills will be advised to contact the Affordable Warmth Helpline on 0800 107 0044. The free helpline provided by an independent charity and funded by local councils offers free advice and guidance on reducing energy bills, heating homes efficiently and affordably, and available grants and financial assistance.

Councillor Hilary Hibbert-Biles, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health, said: “Colder temperatures during winter can make life very difficult for some people, especially those over 60 or with long-term illnesses. We welcome this campaign that aims to remind people that simply keeping warm can help prevent colds, flu, and even more serious health conditions such as pneumonia and heart attacks.

“If the cost of heating bills is a concern for people, I urge them not to sit in the cold. Call the Affordable Warmth Helpline for free advice on the manageable ways to keep your home warm.”

The awareness drive is part of the ‘Keep Warm Keep Well’ campaign that aims to help people prepare for winter and ward off common winter illnesses. As well as staying warm, flu jabs, NHS health checks, staying active, and a healthy diet are all important for staying well during the winter.

Robert Bradshaw, Chairman of Pharmacy Thames Valley and working in Marston Pharmacy, said: “As soon as it gets colder we see more and more patients miserably suffering from colds, flus and respiratory infections. Keep Warm Keep Well is a fantastic opportunity for pharmacies to remind people of the simple steps they can take to help prevent themselves developing these, and potentially more serious, illnesses.”

For more information or advice on how to keep warm and well this winter visit www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/keepwarm