Health leaders are urging people in Warwickshire to take extra care as the Met Office has issued a level 2 alert which is the official warning that high temperatures can pose a significant risk to health for elderly people and children.
Every year A&E services tend to fill up with people who have been affected by the hot weather, particularly those with heart conditions and respiratory problems so commissioners are urging healthy people to take all precautions possible to avoid ending up in A&E.
Commissioners are reminding patients how best to stay well in the hot weather, how to treat the common ailments such as allergies, stings and bites and how to stay safe in the sun – and avoid an unnecessary visit to hospital.
Dr Deryth Stevens, GP and Chair of NHS Warwickshire North CCG, said: “Health advice varies according the level of Heatwave alerts. Each year we issue guidance and warnings about staying well in the hot weather - yet each year our accident and emergency departments continue to see people who simply don’t need to be there and could have treated themselves or got advice from a pharmacist or by ringing the NHS 111 help line number. High temperatures can pose a real risk to vulnerable people so it is important that people keep an eye on elderly family and neighbours during periods of hot weather.
“Having stocks of high factor sun protection is crucial – especially for young children and keeping well hydrated, avoiding the sun at the hottest part of the day and avoiding excessive alcohol; are all important to stay well in hot weather.
“Skin problems such as insect bites and stings are very common and usually only cause minor irritation. Most can be treated at home following some basic tips which will help to improve symptoms. In rare cases, some stings can be painful and trigger a serious allergic reaction, so if you see lots of swelling and blistering or if there’s pus, which indicates an infection, you should visit your GP or call NHS 111 for expert advice over the phone. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and it can also advise you where to go if you do need medical attention.”
For more information about staying well in the hot weather and treating bites and stings visit www.nhs.uk
Press Release from Arden Commissioning Support Unit