Hot in the city! NHS chiefs issue heat warning

Carers told to make daily visits ahead of sweltering temperatures

Wednesday, 15th June — By Tom Foot

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NHS chiefs sounded a “heat health alert” this week with temperatures set to sore into the mid-30 degree on Friday.

A notice has gone out to surgeries, hospitals and care homes warning that “hot weather can be dangerous, especially for the very young or very old or those with chronic disease”. 

Health leaders have advised to carers to be in daily contact with clients and to implement measures in the “Heatwave Plan”.

The plan focuses on ensuring the effectiveness of sweating is not reduced in patients by dehydration, lack of breeze, tight-fitting clothes or some medications that can cause the body to overheat.

“Older people appear to be more vulnerable to heat possibly due to having fewer sweat glands, but also because of living alone and at risk of social isolation,” the plan says. 

The main causes of illness and death during a heatwave are respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.

Other illnesses include cramps, rashes and the more common heat exhaustion and heatstroke. 

“Anyone in a high-risk category who is living alone is likely to need at least daily contact, whether by care workers, volunteers, or informal carers,” said the plan. 

“Older people with long-term or serious illness, mobility problems, or severe mental illness, those who are on certain medications, or those living in accommodation that is hard to keep cool, may need extra care and support.”

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