NHS increases preparations for incoming cold weather
22 November 2011 00:00 in Medical Government/ NHS related news
The NHS is putting preparations in place to deal with the expected rise in hospital admissions as winter weather begins to affect the UK.
Routine contingency measures are currently being rolled out across various local areas to increase bed capacity at peak times, accelerate transfer of patients from ambulances to hospitals and improve out-of-hours arrangements.
This is due to the increase in pressure on health service infrastructure that typically accompanies cold weather, with cases of influenza, norovirus or slips and trips all set to increase in the coming months.
As such, patients are also being warned to take necessary precautions to avoid any possible health risks, such as stocking up on food and medicines or to ensure vulnerable people keep sufficiently warm.
Public health minister Anne Milton said: "We all have a role to play in remembering the needs of friends, relatives and neighbours who could be at risk especially at this time of year."
Currently, the Department of Health is discussing plans to expand its national flu vaccination programme to include healthy children as well as at-risk groups, although it believes more evidence is needed before this plan can go ahead.
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