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Provider Engagment Network

Supporting health and social care providers in Devon


Cold Weather Alert – Level 2

The Met Office have today (25/01/19) issued the following alert

Cold Weather Alert – Level 2 – Alert and Readiness – There is a 80% probability of severe cold weather, icy conditions and some snow showers between 0900 on Sunday 27 Jan and 1800 on Wednesday 30 Jan in parts of England. This weather could increase the health risks to vulnerable patients and disrupt the delivery of services.

A brief milder interlude is expected on Friday, lasting into Saturday. Later Saturday, blustery rain should move eastwards across the UK, continuing into early Sunday, which will reintroduce cold air. This will likely be followed by some wintry showers, perhaps most frequent on the North Sea coast for a time, although there is low confidence in this aspect. Snow is possible across hills, especially in the north, with some more sporadic falls to lower levels here as well. The cold feel will be accentuated by a brisk northerly wind to start the new working week, although this does mean that overnight minimum temperatures will not fall quite as far. Icy stretches are possible by this time, especially overnight. Confidence regarding the extent and location of any wintry precipitation remains low beyond Monday, however cold conditions are currently expected to persist for much of the country. There is then the potential for some slightly less cold air to make some progress north-eastwards from the southwest through the middle of next week, but this remains very uncertain at this stage. This alert is very likely to be superseded by a fresh cold weather alert with further details on Monday 28 January, once details for the coming week are more certain.

Regional UpdateRisk of reaching threshold levelComments
Southwest England60%Showers turning to snow across hills Sunday, with cold conditions spreading south. Cold weather persisting into the coming week. Wintry showers likely, with icy conditions possible. West Cornwall probably a little less cold.
Level 2: Severe weather action
Level 2 is triggered when the Met Office forecasts a 60% chance of severe winter weather, in one or more defined geographical areas for a period of at least 48 hours. Severe winter weather is defined as a mean temperature of 2°C or less and/or heavy snow and widespread ice.

The following actions are required (please note this is not an exhaustive note)

DCC Provider Service/Visiting Staff/Front Line Staff DCC Social Care (All)
Communicate alerts to staff and ensure that locally agreed Cold Weather Plan actions take place, especially those to protect vulnerable service usersContinue to communicate public health media messages
Continue to ensure local actions for the vulnerable such as:

  • arranging daily contacts/visits
  • ensuring staff are undertaking appropriate home checks when visiting clients, eg room temperature (which should be at least 18°C to minimise risk to health); medications and food supplies
  • ensuring carers are receiving appropriate advice and support
Communicate alerts to staff and make sure that they can take appropriate actions
Hospitals and care, residential and nursing homes: ensure that rooms, particularly living rooms and bedrooms, are kept warmEnsure key partners, including all managers of care, residential and nursing homes, are aware of the alerts and can access Department of Health and other advice
Activate business continuity arrangements and emergency plans as required. Activate plans to deal with a surge in demand for servicesEnsure that organisations and staff are prompted to signpost vulnerable clients onwards (eg for energy efficiency measures, benefits or related advice)
Support local community organisations to activate community emergency plans
Activate business continuity arrangements and emergency plans as required
Consider how to make best use of available capacity, for example by using community beds for at-risk patients who do not need an acute bed and enabling access to step-down care and reablement
Work with partner agencies (eg transport) to ensure road/ pavement gritting preparations are in place to allow access to critical services and pedestrian hotspots

Further guidance can be found here:

Cold Weather Plan for England

Cold Weather Plan

Cold Weather Plan Easy Read

Cold weather plan: action card for frontline health and social care staff in community and care facilities

Cold weather plan: action card for provider organisations

Cold weather plan: action card for commissioners (health and social care) and local authorities

Cold weather plan: action card for individuals

Keep Warm Keep Well

Top tips for keeping warm and well


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