GPs should prepare for a possible influx of patients as the UK experiences its hottest day of the year so far on Tuesday, experts have warned.
It comes as the Met Office declared a level two heat warning on Monday across England in the south west, south east and east of England, as well as in London, the east Midlands, west Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber.
A level two heat warning indicates there is a 60% risk of heatwave in two to three days. The scale goes up to level four, which indicates a major incident requiring an emergency response.
Public Health England (PHE) says the current warning means that GPs should assess the temperature of high-risk patients’ homes if visiting – including older people, babies and those with long-term conditions.
It also advises patients and carers to contact their GP if they have concerns about their health or the health of others.
One of the hottest heat spells in August 2003 saw deaths among people aged over 75 rise by 60%.
Dr Angie Bone, head of extreme events at PHE said: ‘This summer we’re urging people to keep an eye on those at-risk and if you’re able, offer help to stay cool and hydrated. This is a good time, before the warmer weather arrives, to think about who you may be able to assist and what you may be able to do.’
Paul Gundersen, chief operational meteorologist at the Met Office said: ‘High pressure, warm air and light winds will result in widespread very warm conditions today (Monday), becoming locally hot, with isolated thunderstorms developing, these most likely across northern England.
‘Tonight temperatures fall a little, but then through tomorrow temperatures rise again as very warm air pushes north from across the continent. This will lead to widespread hot conditions, with increasing humidity as well.’