PEOPLE are being urged to check on vulnerable neighbours during freezing conditions.

The three Bradford district and Craven clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have issued the plea as health services gear-up for the remainder of the winter.

Figures show that one in seven people living in Bradford district and more than one in four in Craven are aged over 65.

They are often at greater risk of health problems such as respiratory conditions, which are made worse by cold temperatures.

Dr James Thomas, clinical chairman of Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven CCG, said: “During low temperatures it is more important than ever that we look out for our neighbours, friends and relatives to check they are keeping warm and taking care of themselves.

“If a neighbour or someone you know has a respiratory condition, please be aware that they may need more support in cold weather.

“There are lots of little ways you can help, for example by going to the shops for them so that they don’t have to go out or simply popping in for a chat and a cuppa.”

His advice is echoed by Dr Leanne Cheyne, consultant respiratory physician at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

And she encourages people with chest problems to take extra precautions.

“Winter is a difficult time if you have a chest problem – especially as you get older,” she said.

“As your body ages, it feels the cold more and is more susceptible to winter bugs.

“To help, make sure your home is warm, and if you need to go out wrap up well. Keep moving and eat well.

“Also it’s a good idea, if you’ve not had it already, to have your flu jab – along with stocking up with over-the-counter remedies.”

Sophie Carrow, specialist respiratory nurse at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, says it is important that people with chest conditions bear in mind their normal everyday symptoms so they are alert to any changes.

She added: “This includes knowing what normally causes them to be breathless, whether they usually have a cough and if they do, what colour their phlegm ordinarily is.

“Knowing what is normal can then help people to recognise quickly when they are becoming unwell.

“Our advice is that if there is a worsening of two of their normal symptoms over a couple of days, they should seek early guidance from their pharmacist, GP or other health professional involved in their care – or, if it’s urgent, by calling 111.

“Early treatment can help prevent their condition getting worse and may avoid a trip to hospital.”

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