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Cold weather warnings issued

Healthcare professionals have been told to incorporate local weather warnings into winter healthcare plans by Public Health England (PHE).

The concerns come as PHE issued a level 2 weather warnings for northern areas of the UK in their Cold Weather Plan for England 2014.

The alert, which has been issued for the north-east, north-west and Yorkshire regions means that this winter there is a 60% chance that temperatures will drop to below 2 degrees and that widespread ice and snow will fall.

The plan also highlights groups of people who are at high risk of suffering during the winter months. This includes those with heart disease, the homeless and those with depression and calls for NHS staff to take this into account when allocating healthcare services

Dr Angie Bone of the extreme events team at PHE said:

“Cold does kill, even in places where the temperatures aren't at their lowest. Most of our advice on keeping warm in cold weather may seem like common sense, it's important that we make the point that people should think about how cold can affect them.”