DOCTORS in Mid Devon are asking people to look in on their elderly relatives, neighbours and friends now the cold weather is setting in.

As part of the national ‘Winter Friends’ NHS Choices campaign, Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG) has launched a short film to encourage people to keep an eye out for the elderly over the cold months.

The film was produced with the help of Devon Senior Voice and reminds people to check in on senior citizens and make sure they keep warm, do not feel lonely and are coping well.

The film, which can be viewed on NEW Devon CCG’s YouTube channel has been chosen to feature on the national NHS Choices website.

Last winter, about 31,000 people in England died as a result of cold weather – most of these were over 75 and many of these deaths could have been avoided.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of older people spend much of the winter alone and lonely.

Dr Richard Mejzner, a GP from Devon, said: “It is very important, especially as the winter weather sets in, that we all take time out to look in on our elderly friends or neighbours to make sure they are warm and coping well.

“This film is a great visual reminder that we can all play a part in helping the more vulnerable people.

“But, being a Winter Friend does not stop when winter ends: older people need our support, care and friendship all year round.”

NHS Choices is aiming to get 100,000 people to sign the Winter Friends pledge this winter.