Emergency services issue tips on how to stay safe as red weather warning is issued
With temperatures set to soar and a red weather warning issued for the area, NHS, police, fire and council chiefs are joining forces amid concerns about growing pressure on hospitals and ‘risk to life’.
Meeting this morning to discuss local risks, agencies raised a number of concerns, including the significant pressure on hospitals which will worsen after a blistering weekend.
Mike Sandys, director of public health for Leicestershire and Rutland said: “There’s a growing list of fears ahead of this weekend. I am particularly worried about older and vulnerable people becoming very sick. This kind of prolonged heat is a risk to life.”
Dr Caroline Trevithick, executive director of nursing, quality and performance and deputy chief executive of the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Integrated Care Board said: “Most of us welcome hot weather, but when it's too hot for too long, there are health risks. In England, there are on average 2,000 heat related deaths every year. I ask everyone to take this seriously – young and old.”
Ivan Browne, director of public health in the city said: “I’d urge everyone to do one more thing this weekend to stay safe in the heat. Much of this is about common sense, whether it’s taking an extra bottle of water in the car, staying indoors in the middle of the day, or checking in on an elderly neighbour.”
Assistant chief constable, Kerry Smith added: “Many people will be tempted to spend longer than usual outdoors this weekend, but it is important to remember the significant risks that come with the heatwave and to take steps to keep safe, failing to do so could make you very poorly and you may need treatment at a time when the hospitals are simply too busy.”
Chief fire officer, Callum Faint said: “Hot weather can lead to all sorts of risky behaviour. As emergency services we’re seeing more young children getting into trouble around water and more barbeques getting out of control.”
Emergency meetings will take place ahead of the weekend to monitor the risks and take further action if needed.
Residents are encouraged to follow the simple advice and visit the NHS website for information: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/seasonal-health/heatwave-how-to-cope-in-hot-weather/
- Look out for others, especially older people, young children, and babies and those with underlying health conditions
- Drink plenty of water; sugary, alcoholic, and caffeinated drinks can make you more dehydrated
- Close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors
- Open windows when it feels cooler outside and it’s safe to do so
- 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, and wear a hat, if you have to go out in the heat
- Avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day
- Wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes
East Midlands Ambulance Service is also offering advice as it says the heat warning means there could be a danger to life or potential serious illness from the scorching temperatures.
David Williams, deputy director of operations at Emas, said: “We need each and every person to take this heat warning seriously and to do everything they can to stay well to prevent additional pressure on the NHS.
“We continue to experience immense pressure on our ambulance service and our staff are working phenomenally hard to the sickest and most severely injured patients.
“Calling 999 for medical help should be a last resort, after you have tried self-care, your local pharmacy, your GP, NHS111 Online and your local Urgent Treatment Centre.
“If you do call need to call 999 for medical help, you will go through several stages of assessment which may include a call back from one of our control room paramedics or nurses to ensure we are prioritising the patients who need our help first.
“Patients experiencing less serious illnesses or injuries may experience an extended wait for an ambulance, so if you are asked by our 999-control room if you can make your own way to hospital, please do so – either via taxi or asking a friend or family member to drive you.
“This allows us to continue to respond to patients who need our ambulances with highly-skilled clinicians and life-saving equipment on board to provide ongoing treatment on the way to hospital.”
Drinking plenty of water will help keep you hydrated and avoid unpleasant symptoms such as a headache and cramps. It can also prevent illnesses such as heat exhaustion, which can lead to heatstroke. If you do experience any symptoms, sit in the shade, drink plenty of water and if they do not improve, seek advice from your GP out of hours service, NHS 111 Online or local pharmacy. To find your nearest services you can search at www.nhs.uk.
The symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
- A headache
- Dizziness and confusion
- Loss of appetite and feeling sick
- Excessive sweating
- Being very thirsty
- A high temperature
- Fast breathing or pulse