UKHSA and Met Office issue amber Cold-Health Alert for North West of England

It's going to be a chilly week.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 8th January 2024

UKHSA and the Met Office have issued an amber Cold-Health Alert (CHA) across the North West of England for this week.

After what had been an unseasonably warm and wet December and festive period, it seems the typical winter weather has well and truly arrived now, as a number of weather warnings have been dished out right across the UK for this week – including the amber CHA in the North West, which covers Greater Manchester.

The amber CHA – which also covers the West Midlands, East Midlands, and the South West of England – will stay in place until 12pm this Friday (12 January).

While it’s only the amber CHA that Greater Manchester residents need to be aware of this week, for other regions in the UK, this alert has been issued on top a Yellow Cold-Health Alert, which still remains in place in the North East of England, Yorkshire and The Humber, East of England, South East of England, and London.

All regions had previously been placed under a yellow alert from 9am on Saturday 6 January, according to the UKHSA, and the Met Office had already been forecasting “a period of lower-than-average temperatures” across this past weekend and this coming week.


But what exactly is an amber Cold-Health Alert? What does it mean? Who is set to be most affected? And what advice is being given out?

Well, under the new CHA system – which was introduced by the UKHSA and the Met Office back in June last year – an amber alert means that cold weather impacts are likely to be felt across the whole health service for “an extended period of time”.


“There is potential for the whole population to be at risk,” the UKHSA warns.

UKHSA and the Met Office has issued an amber Cold-Health Alert for the North West of England / Credit: RawPixel

On top of this, there are other public sectors that may also start to “observe impacts”, and this will ultimately indicate that a “coordinated response is required”.

Speaking as the amber CHA was issued for the North West of England this week, and providing some advice for those who may need it most, Dr Agostinho Sousa, who is the Head of Extreme Events and Health Protection at UKHSA, said: “With the Met Office forecasting drops in temperature across the UK into next week, it is important to check in on the wellbeing of those most vulnerable to the cold.


“Cold weather can increase the risks of heart attacks, strokes, and chest infections, so it can have a serious impact on health, particularly for older people and those with pre-existing health conditions.”

The UKHSA has issued some top tips which you can use to keep yourself and others safe during periods of cold weather:

  • Check the weather forecast and the news
  • Make sure you have sufficient food and medicine
  • Take simple measures to reduce draughts at home
  • Keep bedroom windows closed
  • Wear multiple layers of thinner clothing
  • If you’re eligible, get vaccinated against flu and COVID-19
  • Get help if needed – and call NHS 111 or 999 in an emergency

Dr Sousa continued: “Temperatures are expected to turn particularly cold overnight, as we would expect at this time of year.

“So if you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over the age of 65, it is important to try and heat the rooms where you spend most of your time, such as your living room or bedroom, in the coming days.”

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Find out more information about staying safe during cold weather here.

Featured Image – Wikimedia Commons