Walk like a penguin’ – health board appeal to keep safe during the cold snap

Walk like a penguin’ – health board appeal to keep safe during the cold snap

By Lucy Ashton

The local health board, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC), is urging the public to walk like penguins to help avoid slips and trips in the snow and ice this weekend.

Adopting a penguin walk is a safer way to get about in the cold weather as it could help keep you more stable and minimise the risk of losing balance or slipping on the ice.

The call comes as A&Es face unprecedented pressure this winter due to COVID-19 and other factors which means they are operating at well over normal capacity.

Top tips to walk like a penguin:

  • bend slightly and keep your knees loose
  • point your feet out slightly
  • extend your arms at your sides
  • walk flat-footed, taking short steps
  • keep your centre of gravity over your feet

 In the event of a slip, trip or fall which requires medical attention, but is not very urgent or life-threatening, the health board is advising the public not to go straight to A&E but to instead to phone 111 for advice and to access a Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) which is able to assess, treat and discharge patients, and usually has lower waiting times for patients.

Using an MIU will also help protect A&Es for those urgent and life-threatening cases.

Linda de Caestecker, pictured left, Director for Public Health at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said:  “During winter months, the most common accidents that result in injury are slips, trips and falls. While most result in only minor bumps and bruises, thousands of people are admitted to hospitals each year with related injuries.

“While it might seem silly to walk or waddle like a penguin, in the context of the wintry weather we’re seeing today, penguins know best. If you find yourself out and about in icy conditions, adopting the penguin stance is a really effective way to move without falling. It’ll keep you safe and could help you avoid a trip to an MIU.

“During this time we should also make sure we’re supporting our elderly family members and neighbours by making journeys on their behalf to avoid them having to go out in icy conditions.”

Across NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde there are three standalone Minor Injuries Units (MIUs) – at the Vale of Leven Hospital, Stobhill Hospital and the New Victoria ACH. MIUs operate in a similar manner to A&Es and can take care of a vast range of injuries. Patients who attend MIUs following a call to NHS24 are far more likely to be seen, treated and discharged quicker than if they present to an A&E. They will also be helping to protect vital frontline A&E services for those people who need them the most.

More information on MIUs, what they can treat and how to access one can be found on the NHSGGC website: https://www.nhsggc.scot/your-health/right-care-right-place/minor-injuries-unit/

One comment

  1. Is this a joke. Sadly it is not. This is all part and parcel of the utter spin that has become the way of life of governance in Scotland.

    Walk like a Penguin. You couldn’t make it up. And does that advice include skating on ice because that is what penguins also do. And if you fall, don’t have the temerity to go to accident and emergency. Pick yourself up, get yourself home somehow and call the NHS help line.

    It’s like third world care – and don’t let anyone kid you that thecshortages of Doctor’s, nurses, ambulances have only arisen over night. This is medical care 2022 courtesy of Queen Nicola.

    At least she’s got time to develop questions to ask 14 year old school children about their sexual habits.

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