Death: Weather

Health written question – answered on 28th October 2013.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Luciana Berger Luciana Berger Shadow Minister (Public Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to reduce excess winter deaths across the UK.

Photo of Jane Ellison Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The Department, with Public Health England and NHS England, has developed annual Cold Weather Plans for England since 2011. The 2013 Cold Weather Plan for England was published on 25 October 2013, recommending actions to be taken throughout the year to reduce excess winter deaths, with specific actions during winter triggered by Met Office alerts. To encourage local public health action, excess winter deaths is also an indicator in the Public Health Outcomes Framework, which is designed to help local authorities prioritise public health issues in their local area.

The Department, working with Public Health England and NHS England, is urging people who are offered the flu vaccine, including those who are most at risk, and all two and three-year-olds (as of 1 September 2013) to protect themselves from flu this winter by ensuring they get vaccinated against the flu virus. For the first time, a nasal spray vaccine will be offered to healthy two and three-year-old children, as their close contact with each other means that they are more likely to transmit the virus to other vulnerable groups—including infants and older people.

The Department is also investing £500 million in NHS England over the next two years to make sure that accident and emergency departments are prepared for the inevitable winter pressures.

The Department works with other Government Departments and local government to reduce the health impacts of cold weather, demonstrated in the 'Get Ready For Winter' website, hosted by the Met Office, which contains advice on all aspects of winter preparedness.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes1 person thinks so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.