Table of contents


Adults :: Excess winter deaths :: Recommendations

Measures should concentrate on vulnerable people (those living in care homes, those aged over 65, those with respiratory or cardiovascular conditions, older women, people reliant on public transport, sedentary people and older people who live alone). The CCG should develop procedures and systems to ensure that the referral of vulnerable older households to appropriate energy service happens systematically.

Measures to reduce both indoor and outdoor cold stress are necessary to reduce levels of winter mortality. Warning people about outdoor cold exposure and protective measures is as important as messages about keeping their home adequately heated.

Early use anti-virals amongst the very aged in residential and care home settings should be considered.

The proportion of health care workers vaccinated should be increased to limit spread of flu to vulnerable patients in hospitals and other healthcare settings.

As with many public health issues, the wider determinants (i.e. the 'causes of the causes') need to be considered. A strategic approach supported by the emerging Medway Health and Wellbeing Board, which maintains general aims to reduce poverty, increase economic development etc should run concurrently with more targeted programmes.

Current mainstream commissioning programmes which seek to manage winter service pressures and acute admissions should include support preventative measures which seek to reduce excess winter death as these measures will also reduce morbidity.

Guidance for care homes has been developed on dealing with heat waves, similar guidance for winter may be beneficial.

The introduction of asthma plans for affected patients should be considered, to reduce admissions for the condition.

The possibility of introducing heated waiting rooms/seating, wind-proof bus shelters and similar could be investigated, especially in areas populated by high numbers of older people who are reliant on public transport.

Commissioning the Met Office's “Healthy Outlook” service for Medway should be considered.