Peo­ple urged to keep warm to cut win­ter death toll

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page - by Thom Mor­ris tmor­ris@thek­m­group.co.uk

HEALTH bosses are urg­ing peo­ple to keep warm as new fig­ures re­veal that nearly a tenth of deaths in Ash­ford and Folke­stone over the win­ter are due to the cold.

The lat­est fig­ures from the NHS for 2007/08 show that 30 peo­ple in Ash­ford and 30 in Shep­way died be­cause of plum­met­ing tem­per­a­tures.

Deputy di­rec­tor of pub­lic health at NHS East­ern and Coastal Kent An­drew Scott-Clark, said: “If you are strug­gling to pay for ex­tra heat­ing costs you maybe el­i­gi­ble for a range of ben­e­fits and help to heat your home. Even if you’ve been turned down in the past, you may find you now qual­ify for some means of sup­port.

“We’re more likely to feel the chill in win­ter and be­ing cold low­ers our im­mune sys­tem, mak­ing it more dif­fi­cult for us to fight off bugs.”

Na­tional Statis­tics show there were over 36,000 deaths due to the cold be­tween De­cem­ber and March – al­most dou­ble on the pre­vi­ous year. The great­est num­ber of deaths due to the cold occurred in peo­ple aged over 85.

To find out if you are el­i­gi­ble for grants or ex­tra cash to keep your home warm call the En­ergy Sav­ing Trust on 0800 512012 or visit www.en­er­gysa vingtrust.org.uk. You can also con­tact the Home Heat Helpline on 0800 336699 or visit www.home­heathelpline.org

The Ash­ford Cit­i­zens Ad­vice Bureau can also of­fer help and ad­vice. Con­tact them on 01233 626185 or visit in per­son at 10 Nor­wood Street, Ash­ford or the Town Hall, High Street, Ten­ter­den.

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