Red warning: Emergency services issue a plea to stay safe in the heat

Hot Weather

With temperatures set to soar this weekend, NHS, police, fire and council chiefs are joining forces amid concerns about growing pressure on hospitals and ‘risk to life’.

The Met Office have now issued a red weather warning for the East Midlands. This is what to expect:

  • Everyone could get sick in the heat – not just those who are most vulnerable. The advice is to call 111 if you need advice, and 999 only in emergencies
  • People should think about their working routine on Monday and Tuesday and take precautions to stay cool and hydrated
  • Systems and equipment which are sensitive to heat may fail, leading to loss of power
  • More people will be around water, and there may be more accidents
  • There may be delays on roads, along with delays and cancellations to rail and air travel, and people who are delayed may get sick in the heat

Meeting this 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 2000 heat related deaths every year. I ask everyone to take this seriously – young and old.”

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: 

Tips include:

  • 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

For further information, visit NHS heatwave advice

15 July 2022