Commissioners and providers of health and social care have been issued with a new guidance aimed at reducing summer deaths and illness caused by heatwaves.
The guidance, launched by Public Health England and NHS England, provides direction on preparing for and dealing with a heatwave in hospital, or in a residential or community setting.
It advises that when a heatwave is forcecast, care professionals should check high-risk people have a visitor of phone call arrangement in place; reconfirm key public health messages to clients; and check the client’s room temperature if visiting.
During a heatwave, they should visit or phone high-risk people and advise carers to contact their GP if there are any concerns regarding the client’s health.
Professor Dame Sally C Davies, the chief medical officer at the Department of Health & Social Care said: “The purpose of this heatwave plan is to reduce summer deaths and illness by raising public awareness and triggering actions in the NHS, public health, social care and other community and voluntary organisations to support people who have health, housing or economic circumstances that increase their vulnerability to heat.
“This plan builds on many years of experience of developing and improving the ability of the health sector and its partners to deal with significant periods of hot weather. It is up to each locality to consider the actions in this plan and to adapt and incorporate them in local plans as appropriate to the local situation.
“We know that the Heatwave plan for England has successfully helped individuals, communities and authorities better prepare and plan for severe summer temperatures. We want people to enjoy the summer and to reduce the harm from heatwaves to those most at risk, for now and in the future.”