As we approach winter we’re encouraging you, our Home Support providers, to look at your Business Continuity Plans and check that they are fit for purpose.
Business Continuity is about protecting three main areas of your business:
- Safeguarding people
- Safeguarding your assets
- Safeguarding your processes
Ensuring that the people you look after are adequately warm over these colder months can increase their chances of staying well this winter. Fuel poverty can make many health conditions worsen, particularly respiratory and heart problems.
How to spot if someone’s health could be at risk when you visit:
- Is it cold in the house? Do you want to keep your coat on when you visit?
- Are there discoloured or black patches on walls, or a musty smell?
- Is there condensation on windows and window sills?
- Is the room draughty? Are there gaps under doors or in windows?
- Has the person developed a cough or does their breathing seem more difficult?
- Does their ability to use their hands seem to be getting worse? If they have arthritis in their hands is that worse?
- Do they wear a lot of clothes, or have a lot of blankets, hot water bottles – as if they are struggling to keep warm?
If you think someone you look after is at risk because their house is cold, there are a number of actions you can take to keep them well:
- try to keep the house heated to at least 18C, drawing curtains and closing doors to block draughts where necessary
- find out if your service user can get the flu jab for free on the NHS
- ensure they are dressed in several layers of clothes rather than one chunky layer – clothes made from cotton, wool or fleecy fibres help to maintain body heat
- see if they can use a hot water bottle or electric blanket to keep warm in bed – but don’t use both at the same time
- Electric blanket advice can be found at: https://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/guides-and-advice/electrical-items/electric-blankets/
- check they are having at least one hot meal a day – eating regularly helps keep you warm; and make sure they have hot drinks regularly
- ensure they wear shoes with a good grip to help prevent falls
You can order leaflets with working room thermometers on them directly from the Health Information Leaflet Service here: http://brochure.norfolkslivingwell.org.uk/product/keep-warm-stay-well-thermometer.
Alternatively, if you are attending the next Home Support Independent Provider Forum being held on Thursday 7 December 2017, at Aldiss Park, Dereham Town Football Club, we will have some available there to take away.
NHS and CCG advice
The Norfolk County Council, NHS and CCG websites also host a lot of advice about how to stay warm and well this winter. The links to these sites can be found below:
Norfolk County Council: https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/what-we-do-and-how-we-work/campaigns/stay-well-this-winter
Great Yarmouth &Waveney CCG: http://www.greatyarmouthandwaveneyccg.nhs.uk/news_item.asp?fldID=759
North Norfolk CCG: http://www.northnorfolkccg.nhs.uk/stay-well-winter
South Norfolk CCG: http://www.southnorfolkccg.nhs.uk/seasonal-health/winter
West Norfolk CCG: http://www.westnorfolkccg.nhs.uk/your-health/winter-health