vulnerable people in Liverpool are at real risk from a deadly
killer. It stalks them quietly over a period of time, and once it’s
caught them there’s little chance of escape… We’re talking of
course about Hypothermia, and with the launch of the Warm Homes
Campaign on 20 November, and falling temperatures, Liverpool’s
Advantage Healthcare office, one of the UK’s top healthcare
solutions organisations, gives advice and guidance to help us
prevent this silent threat. Whether it’s for yourself, a neighbour,
a relative, or a friend; following the steps outlined below really
could help save a life.
Last winter, in England and Wales, 23,000 elderly people died as a
direct result of the cold. This shocking figure is not unique or
unexpected, in fact in the last 5 years more than 130,000 people
over 65 have died in this way. What makes the statistics more
worrying, is that the UK has a higher number of winter deaths than
comparable European countries; and even EU neighbours with colder
climates such as Finland, Denmark and Austria have lower numbers of
deaths attributable to the cold than us.
Dr Peter Sachon from the Met Office said winter deaths go up by
approximately 1.4% for every 1 degree drop in temperature below 18
degrees Celsius. Most of these will be from respiratory or
cardiovascular ailments such as heart attacks, strokes, bronchial
and other conditions. So what causes this silent killer and
what can be done about it?
Advantage Healthcare is an agency at the
frontline of the fight to cut these unnecessary deaths. They provide
highly trained staff to GP’s Surgeries, hospitals and health
centres; as well as providing domiciliary care for elderly and
infirm clients in the comfort of their own homes. They have 35
branches nationwide and the Liverpool branch staff are promoting
ways to ‘stay safe this winter’.
Keith Nurcombe, Operations Director of Advantage Healthcare,
explained:- “Our staff are highly trained and well aware of
the ways to spot and treat the various stages of hypothermia,
however in many cases avoidable deaths happen because no-one spots
the warning signs. Which is why it’s so important that there is a
shared responsibility amongst all care workers, including district
nurses, GPs, and the family and friends of vulnerable people. Having
seen the devastation that this silent killer causes, we’re trying to
increase awareness of what to look for and what to do.”
What is Hypothermia?
Hypothermia occurs in cold environments when the normal body
temperature of 37 degrees Celsius drops below 35 degrees Celsius.
When the body energy is exhausted, hypothermia can become
life-threatening which is why the elderly are so vulnerable.
There are 3 stages of hypothermia and it is important to familiarise
yourself with their symptoms. Mild hypothermia is accompanied by
bouts of shivering, grogginess and muddled thinking, whilst Moderate
hypothermia is characterised by violent shivering or shivering which
suddenly stops, an inability to think and pay attention, slow
shallow breathing, and a slow weak pulse. Severe hypothermia sees
the shivering stop and the patient lose consciousness, whilst
displaying little or no breathing and a weak irregular or
What causes Hypothermia and how can you protect against it?
One key factor which can contribute to hypothermia is homes which
are inadequately heated. Age Concern is currently lobbying the
government to increase the fuel allowances provided, however if fuel
bills are a problem, it is important to ensure that at least 1 room
is well heated.
Older people should also ensure that they dress well, ideally with
thin layers of clothes made of wool, cotton or fleecy fabrics, and
that they do not stay sitting still for long periods of time. Any
exercise should however be approached with caution during the wet or
It’s also important that all vulnerable people get their flu jabs,
and it’s also advised that they have at least 1 hot meal every day,
and sip hot drinks regularly. Friends, family members and neighbours
can help by keeping an eye on elderly people, and ensuring that in
the particularly cold weather they have sufficient provisions, that
gaps in doors and windows are sealed up, and that the heating system
is working well.
Electric blankets are often used by the elderly to keep warm at
night, however they do pose a certain risk themselves. If using one,
it is imperative that it is safety checked every 3 years; Age
Concern are currently offering free checks for older people in
selected areas of the UK. For more information contact Age Concern’s
Information Line on 0800 009966 or visit
How Do You Treat Hypothermia?
The NHS advise that hypothermia is always treated as a medical
emergency, and that the symptoms are judged themselves, regardless
of what the person actually says. The emergency services
should be contacted as extreme hypothermia needs expert urgent
medical treatment; indeed rapid re-warming with hot water or massage
should be avoided as if it is not done properly it could lead to
serious tissue damage.
Advantage Healthcare’s recent acquisition of Quantica Healthcare has
expanded the Group’s UK regional presence, and strengthened its
position as one of the leading healthcare recruitment solutions
providers in the UK. The £4.5 million purchase sees Advantage
Healthcare expand its portfolio of services to also include
qualified social workers.
Advantage Healthcare Group Limited brings together a number of
nationally recognised brands, including Quantica Healthcare,
Montpellier Health Care, Professional Healthcare Services (PHS),
Strand Nurses Bureau Ltd, Advantage Healthcare Nursing & Care
Limited, Advantage Healthcare Overseas Staffing Limited.
To find out more information about Advantage Healthcare, please call
0800 032 3355,
or speak to your local branch.
Alternatively contact the
Home Heat Helpline on 0800 336699.
a Maths - Whizz
the UK's award winning educational publisher, is launching a new
initiative dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of maths
for both parents and children. Wednesday 14 March 2007 will
become the first ever National Maths - Whizz Day.
14 March 2007 is a crucial day for maths itself. It is Albert Einstein's 128th
birthday and the celebratory, Pi Day.
Albert Einstein is regarded
the most well known mathematician in the world and contributed more
than any other scientist to the modern vision of physical reality.
His special and general theories of relativity are still regarded as
the most satisfactory model of the large-scale universe that we
Pi is the 16th letter in the Greek alphabet and is denoted by
the symbol .
Pi is the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of
a circle; approximately equal to 3.14159265358979323846.
With much emphasis lately on personalised learning and testing
children when they are ready, rather than at a fixed age, Ofsted
have called for Government backed home tuition for pupils who are
not progressing as they should. Currently 20% of children are
leaving primary school without a solid foundation in literacy and
numeracy. A pilot scheme in 10 local authority areas is to take
place from April 2007 in which the bottom 5% of children in each
subject of each key stage in these areas will be offered extra
support and tuition outside of the classroom. Ofsted have also
suggested that parents should get more information, such as lesson
plans and reports on the internet.
How to get involved
Schools and parents are being encouraged to run quizzes and
competitions on the day to make maths fun. A free pack is available
to download from
www.whizz.com to give ideas on
how best to get involved and enjoy National Maths - Whizz Day.
There is also an online quiz where you can work out your maths age.
Ron Van Der Meer, the inventor and Creative Director of Maths -
Whizz, says:- "Research shows that if children could change
one thing about their maths teaching it would be to have more fun
examples to make it more enjoyable. Maths is a subject that can be
enjoyed by all, especially with Maths - Whizz, so get involved in
National Maths - Whizz Day and help make maths fun for all. "
Available for use in schools and at home, teachers, parents and kids
agree - Maths - Whizz, the online interactive maths tutor, is the
most interesting and exciting way for any child to learn. The
service acts just like a human tutor, offering 1-on-1 learning that
reacts to the child's individual learning needs in guiding them
through lessons. Parents also get their own private login to access
a range of reports showing their child's measurable progress.
Maths - Whizz is already established in over 3000 schools and won a
coveted BETT award in 2006 from leading teachers' organisation BECTA.
In a recent schools study using Ofsted data Maths - Whizz was shown
to increase maths pass rates by 18%.
SAY “YES” TO FREIGHT BY RAIL
overwhelming majority of Members of Parliament are in favour of
shifting freight to rail, a recent survey shows. When
presented with the statement, “the railway network should be used
more to transport freight,” 96% of MPs agreed. Only 1% disagreed
with the statement. The firmest support in Westminster was
from Liberal Democrat MPs, of whom 74% strongly agreed with the
statement. Not one MP from any party expressed a strong
The survey was commissioned by Parkside 2010, an alliance of local
and national representatives from charities, community and business
groups who are backing plans to develop a new rail freight
interchange on the site of the former Parkside Colliery in
Newton-le-Willows. One of the chief aims of the interchange is
to help bring down carbon emissions, by getting more freight
delivered by rail throughout the country, reducing congestion on our
roads. The new interchange will also provide a massive boost
to the local economy, create 10,000 new jobs, and enhance the local
environment through a new Countryside Park.
Lord Evans of Parkside, who chairs the Alliance, said:- “This
survey confirms that there is huge support in Westminster for moving
freight onto rail. The plans for Parkside are well thought out, and
are in one of only a few areas in the country that can deliver this.
The Alliance is calling on everybody to now get behind the proposals
which will create jobs and improve the local environment.”
Southport pharmacy introduces touch screen health advice
common complaints and ailments and their recommended treatment are
now available at the touch of a screen from Rowlands pharmacy in
Southport. Visitors and customers will now be able to access
health tips and information on a whole range of conditions and
symptoms, as well as details of recommended treatments and other
health products available from the pharmacy via the screen.
“Our new touch screens give customers even more access to
health advice and a wider range of niche products.
easy to use and provide clear, visual tips and guidance on symptoms
and treatments of common complaints. Visitors can also see all the
latest product promotions available in each branch - all from the
touch screen. These are an excellent addition to the services we
provide for the local community. They are an ideal point of
reference which customers can browse while waiting for their
prescriptions or they can call in specifically to make a private
enquiry.” explained Rod Grundy, area manager for Rowlands.
Rowlands pharmacies serve around 20 regions across the UK.
“We play a vital role in the community and with mounting
pressures on GPs, we are frequently more accessible for advice on
We build up good relationships with patients, which
helps us provide the help they require on each visit.” added Mike Johnson, Rowlands
Rowlands pharmacy is at:- 22 Liverpool Road, Birkdale, Southport.