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Heatwave Guidance – Level 2: Alert and readiness

Heatwave and hot weather guidance

Please note the Met Office have amended yesterday’s Heat Wave alert.  We are now at Level 2: Alert and readiness.  At this stage this alert will be in force until Saturday 7th July (07:00 hours)

Level 2Heatwave is forecast – Alert and readiness  – 70% probability of a of heatwave.

 Here’s the Met Office Alert .

There is a 70 % probability of heatwave conditions between 0900 on Tuesday and 0700 on Saturday in parts of England.

Temperatures are expected to temporarily reduce a little night and day through the middle of this week, before lighter winds allow higher temperatures across more eastern areas of England during Thursday and to some extent during Friday. Relative to the alert issued yesterday, Monday 02 July, all areas of England are now on a level 2 alert – aside from Northwest and Northeast which remain below threshold. Southeast and Southwest have also been downgraded from level 2 from 3. This alert has been issued for the maximum duration possible. It is very likely to be extended for similar areas later this working week, provisionally Thursday or Friday as heat is expected to build towards the weekend and possibly during the following week. Even in areas that do not breach their alert criteria, the headline is that it is expected to remain largely dry, often sunny and very warm at times.

Southwest England 60%Some very warm or hot days through the remainder of this week. The east and northeast of the region most liable to be affected. Less hot across Cornwall and some parts Devon, mainly coasts.

During this period of time you should ensure the following is implemented >>

Commissioners of health and social care (all settings)Providers – health and social care staff in all settings (community, hospitals and care homes)Community and voluntary sector and individuals

• communicate public media messages – especially to ‘hard to reach’ vulnerable groups

• communicate alerts to staff and make sure that they are aware of heatwave plans

• implement business continuity

• increase advice to health and social care workers working in community, care homes and hospitals

Professional staff (all settings):

• check high-risk people have visitor/phone call arrangements in place

• reconfirm key public health messages to clients

• check client’s room temperature if visiting

Community groups:

• keep an eye on people you know to be at risk

• stay tuned into the weather forecast and keep stocked with food and medications

• check ambient room temperatures

 

Individuals:

• stay tuned into the weather forecast

• check ambient room temperatures – especially those rooms where disabled or high risk individuals spend most of their time

• keep an eye on people you know to be at risk – ensure they have access to plenty of cool liquids

• look out for vulnerable neighbours

 

Care homes and hospitals:

• check indoor temperatures are recorded regularly during the hottest periods for all areas where patients reside (see attached temperature recording sheet)

• ensure cool areas are below 26°C

• review and prioritise high-risk people

• ensure sufficient cold water and ice

• consider weighing clients regularly to identify dehydration and rescheduling physio to cooler hours

• communicate alerts to staff and make sure that they are aware of heatwave plans

• ensure sufficient staffing

• implement business continuity

 

 

As you may be aware the Heat-Health Watch Period commenced on 1 June 2018 and will run until the 15 September 2018.  The Met Office (link below) monitor the situation and periodically send weather updates / predictions to nominated DCC Officers who in turn may forward you information and requests for action should the need arise.

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/uk/heathealth/

The ‘Heat-Health watch’ system comprises of five  levels of response, based on regional threshold day and night-time temperatures as defined by the Met Office.

Threshold temperatures for the South West region are 30 degrees C daytime and 15 degrees C night-time.

Level 0: Long Term Planning – year round long tern planning, so that longer term actions (such as those linked to spatial planning and housing) are taken to reduce the harm to health of severe heat when it occurs

Level 1: Summer Preparedness – This is the minimum state of preparedness.

Level 2: Alert and Readiness – This is triggered as soon as the Met Office forecasts that there is a 60 per cent chance of temperatures being high enough on at least two consecutive days to have a significant effects on health.  This will normally occur 2–3 days before the event is expected.  As death rates rise soon after temperature increases, with many deaths occurring in the first two days, this is an important stage to ensure readiness and swift action to reduce harm from a potential heatwave.

Level 3: Heatwave Action – Triggered as soon as the Met Office confirms that threshold temperatures have been reached in any one region or more.  This stage requires specific actions targeted at high-risk groups.

Level 4: Major Incident – Emergency response – This is reached when a heat wave is so severe and/or prolonged that its effects extend outside health and social care, such as power or water shortages, and/or where the integrity of health and social care systems is threatened. At this level, illness and death may occur among the fit and healthy, and not just in the high-risk groups and will require a multi sector response at national and regional levels.


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