Sheffield GPs encourage residents to check in on elderly neighbours over winter

People in Sheffield are being urged to check on elderly friends and neighbours over the winter months to ensure they are warm and well during the cold weather.

NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group has launched a ‘Community Friends’ scheme for the city.

It is an extension of the national ‘Winter Friends’ initiative, which encourages people to support others in their community, especially the more vulnerable, whatever the weather brings.

Dr Zak McMurray, a Sheffield GP and medical director for NHS Sheffield CCG, said: “This is a particularly important scheme for winter as it encourages people to support their friends, family or neighbours and offer them help wherever they may need it.

“Older people, especially those who are more vulnerable, can become isolated in the winter months, and the cold weather can have a serious impact on their health.

“People can help in many ways, such as checking in on older neighbours to check they are warm and well, collecting prescriptions or taking them to the GP for any appointments, and clearing snow from doors or paths if necessary.

“Looking in on an elderly neighbour can make a huge difference, helping to prevent loneliness and making sure they are safe and warm.”

As part of the campaign NHS Sheffield CCG is also asking people to nominate their ‘Community Friends’.

All of the nominated ‘Community Friends’ will receive a certificate from the NHS, as a thank you for the input that they’ve had in helping someone maintain their independence, mental and physical health during the colder months.

The nomination process is now open for suggestions of people who deserve to be considered for the honour to be put forward.

To nominate a Community Friend, visit the NHS Sheffield CCG website www.sheffieldccg.nhs.uk and search ‘Community Friends’ or call 0114 305 1212.