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Provider Engagment Network

Supporting health and social care providers in Devon


Severe Winter Weather – Level 3 – Cold Weather Action alert

The met office have today (1st Feb 2019) issued the following alert Level 3 Cold Weather Alert

There is a 90% probability of severe cold weather/icy conditions/heavy snow between 0900 on Friday 01 Feb and 0900 on Monday 04 Feb in parts of England. This weather could increase the health risks to vulnerable patients and disrupt the delivery of services.

Regional UpdateRisk of reaching threshold levelComments
Southwest England90%Staying cold with patchy sleet or snow today, then a few wintry showers Saturday and at first Sunday. Widespread ice is tonight, with icy stretches Saturday night. Becoming less cold through Sunday.
Level 3: Severe weather action
This is triggered as soon as the weather described in level 2 actually happens. It indicates that severe winter weather is now happening and an impact on health and social care services is expected.

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

DCC Provider Service / Visiting Staff / Front Line StaffDCC Social Care (All)
Communicate alerts to staff and ensure that locally agreed actions take place, especially those to protect vulnerable patients/clients.Continue to communicate public health messages.
Implement local plans for contacting the vulnerable. Consider daily visits/ phone calls for high-risk individuals living on their own who have no regular contacts.Communicate alerts to staff and make sure that winter plans are in operation.
Ensure carers are receiving appropriate advice and support.Ensure key partners are undertaking action in response to alerts.
Implement plans to deal with surge in demand.Support local voluntary and community sector organisations to mobilise community emergency plans.
Implement business continuity arrangements.Ensure continuity arrangements are working with provider organisations.
As appropriate, contact those at risk (visit, phone call) daily.Work with partner agencies (eg transport) to ensure road/ pavement gritting arrangements are in effect to allow access to critical services and pedestrian hotspots.
Ensure staff can help and advise clientsAs appropriate, contact those at risk (visit, phone call) daily.
Continue to check client’s room temperature if visiting to ensure that clients are warm. Ensure that they have at least one room which meets recommended room temperatures (which should be at least 18°C to minimise risk to health). 
Ensure urgent signposting for those at risk (eg in cold housing) to appropriate services. 
Continue to remind clients of the actions they can take to protect themselves from the effects of severe cold. 
Consider how forecast weather conditions may impact on your work – and make appropriate arrangements. 
Make sure you and your teams are prepared for an influx of weather-related injuries and illnesses. 




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