People urged to keep warm to cut winter death toll
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.