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A&E Admissions Rise as Met Office Issues ?Level Three? Heatwave Alert

July 18, 2013
Public Health

As temperatures across the country continue to soar The Met Office has issued a ?level three? heatwave alert for parts of South East England. Trigger temperatures of 320c have a 90% chance of being reached in London with only the North of England unlikely to be included in any warning. Temperatures are at their highest levels since July 2006 when the Office for National Statistics reported a 4% increase in baseline mortality in England and Wales. The effects are already being felt by the NHS with visits to Accident and Emergency up on the corresponding period last year. Hospitals in Wales have reported treating higher than normal numbers of elderly patients admitted with hip fractures after falls as well as a sharp increase in people suffering from dehydration and sunburn.

Dr Ruth Hussey Chief Medical Officer for Wales has urged the public to take appropriate precautions in the sun saying; “With the increased pressures on A&E during the warm weather, it is important that the public play their part in assisting the emergency care services by considering whether they could be treated with support from NHS Direct Wales, a pharmacist or through primary care services.”

Some forecasters are predicting that the heatwave could continue throughout August making it the longest in the UK since the summer of 1976. Professor Virginia Murray, head of extreme events at Public Health England, confirmed the importance of being prepared for a prolonged period of high temperatures explaining that; ?Deaths quickly follow after one to two days of a heatwave, making it essential to have plans in place beforehand.?

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