11 January 2013

Northamptonshire County Council and NHS Northamptonshire are relaunching the highly successful Wrapped Up campaign to help protect vulnerable people from illness, injury, disability and excess deaths during the cold winter months.

The aim of the campaign is to help vulnerable people, for example older people or those with long term health conditions, to keep warm and safe and prevent people needing to go to hospital during the winter months by the provision of simple and practical support.

The campaign is funded by the Department of Health, from the Warm Homes’ Healthy People grant, and is being run by Northamptonshire County Council, NHS Northamptonshire, Age UK, Nene Valley Community Action and Northamptonshire Community Foundation.

In 2011, the first year of the Wrapped Up campaign, there was a 5% decrease in the number of excess winter deaths against the previous year’s figures. Agencies in the county are working to identify those most at risk this winter and ensure they benefit from the scheme.

Age UK Northamptonshire’s Chief Officer, Liam Condron said: "Cold weather and fuel poverty can cause misery, avoidable illness and even death for too many older people, leading to distress and adding to the workload of healthcare providers.

"We are delighted to welcome back the Wrapped Up scheme which enables local authorities to work alongside charitable and community organisations to help to keep vulnerable older people well during winter and ease the strain on local NHS services."

Dr Stephen Horsley, Director of Public Health for NHS Northamptonshire, said: "We are delighted to be supporting the Wrapped Up Campaign once again, which will help protect those who need it most during the cold winter months.

"In Northamptonshire alone, around 13% of our households are elderly people living on their own, with 11.5% of households living in fuel poverty. It is essential that we provide all the support we can to help ensure these people are kept safe and well."

Councillor Robin Brown, County Council Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Services said: "We recognise that cold weather can be dangerous for older and vulnerable people and I am pleased we are able to support this scheme and help keep people safe. We will be working in partnership to offer advice and support for those most at risk during the winter period."

What support is there?

Winter packs containing advice on how people can keep warm and well, a publicity drive to signpost vulnerable people to the designated helpline number 0845 677 2220 and other support will be distributed during mid January-February in town centre locations.

The winter packs are being targeted at those most at risk, they include; thermometers, carbon monoxide detectors, service providers’ information and a practical checklist to ensure you or someone you care about is warm this winter. The campaign encourages local residents to check on and ensure that vulnerable neighbours, friends and relatives in high risk groups are looked out for this winter.

For further information visit www.wrappedup.org.uk or if you or someone you know needs support to keep warm call 0845 677 2220, 9:00am-5:00pm Monday to Friday.