Publish date: 19 July 2021
With hot weather continuing across most of the country it is important for all health professionals to be are aware and understand the health risks of hot weather to vulnerable people, both in the community and inpatient facilities.
In England, there are on average 2,000 heat-related deaths a year. The most at-risk people are those with underlying health conditions, babies, and the very young and older people – especially those over 75.
Although current high temperatures are predicted to drop in the next few days, staff are reminded to remain vigilant and continue to follow advise from senior management; particularly in identified areas of concern (e.g. inpatient areas where room temperatures reach and/ or exceed 25 degrees and areas where medicines and food are stored)
Whether you are community staff or working in an inpatient setting, the Mersey Care Heatwave Plan includes action cards which can support you and colleagues maintain staff and patient safety during hot weather. The plan can be found here.
Here is some general and community advice to beat the heat this summer:
- stay cool indoors – many of us will need to stay safe at home this summer so know how to keep your home cool
- close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors
- drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol
- never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children, or animals
- try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm
- walk in the shade, apply sunscreen regularly and wear a wide-brimmed hat, if you have to go out in the heat.
To find out about the signs of heat exhaustion and heatstroke and when to get help, visit: NHS Live Well
For more tips to beat the heat and cope with hot weather, visit: Public Health England
For information for people with diabetes about dealing with hot weather, visit: Diabetes UK