The cold weather plan for England has been updated to remove guidance for all patients to discuss new exercise plans with their GP.
It now says only those with health concerns need to have such a discussion, following a clarification of the document.
It follows Pulse’s report on the plan last week, which saw GPs brand the suggestion as ‘ridiculous’, and which was picked up by Mail Online.
The NHS England, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and the Met Office’s joint cold weather plan had first stated that individuals should ‘look after [themselves] by… if possible, trying to move around at least once an hour, but remember to speak to your GP before starting any exercise plans’.
The plan now says that those with ‘any health concerns’ should speak to their GP ‘before starting any exercise plans’.
It said: ‘Look after yourself by… if possible, trying to move around at least once an hour, but remember, if you have any health concerns, speak to your GP before starting any exercise plans’.
It added that exercising is ‘good for you all year round and it can keep you warm in winter’.
GPs had reacted with incredulity to the document, saying it is ‘absolutely ridiculous’ and could lead to a ‘substantial increase’ in workload for GPs.
The guidance also recommended that individuals receiving social care or ‘health services’ should ask their GP, key worker or ‘other contact’ about ‘staying healthy in winter and services available’ to them between 1 November and 31 March.
And it set out various measures GP practices should take at each cold weather alert level.