Hospital Issues Advice About Hot Weather and Strikes

Trust managing St. George's says heatwaves mean more visits to A&E

The Accident and Emergency Department at St George's Hospital

June 26, 2024

The health trust which manages St. George’s Hospital in Tooting is issuing advice to the public ahead of strike action by junior doctors and the expected continuation of the heatwave.

St George’s, Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals and Health Group is already seeing high demand in its emergency departments – and it says that typically, it gets busier in the days after a heatwave.

A heat alert issued by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and Met Office is in place until 5pm on Thursday 27 June

In addition, the next round of junior doctors’ strikes begins at 7am on Thursday which will also affect services the NHS can deliver. Strike action is continuing until 7am on Tuesday 2 July.

The trust is advising that, while people should continue to go to hospital in an emergency and in life-threatening cases, they should use NHS 111 online when it’s less urgent. This is a 24/7 service that can direct people to the best place for care.

Pharmacists, meanwhile, can advise on a range of conditions, and may also be able to offer treatment and prescription medicines for some things such as earache, shingles, sore throat, and infected insect bites.

Patients should continue to attend any hospital appointments they have, unless they hear otherwise.

Dr Richard Jennings, Group Chief Medical Officer for St George’s, Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals and Health Group, said, “Our hospitals are already very busy, and we can expect to see more people coming to our emergency departments in the coming days because of the hotter weather. As has been the case previously, strikes will also impact our services.

“We’re here for those in need, and when it’s less urgent services such as NHS 111 online or a pharmacy can help – but there are also things you can do to keep yourself and your loved ones safe in the heat.”

The NHS advises that people going out in the sun should wear sun cream and a hat. It’s also important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, and to stay in the shade where possible during the hottest parts of the day.

Elderly and vulnerable people are more at risk in hotter weather – and friends, family and neighbours are asked to check in and to support them.

People can cool themselves down by having cold food and drinks, avoiding alcohol, caffeine and hot drinks, and having a cool shower. Those who exercise should do so during cooler parts of the day.

Windows, blinds and curtains should be closed during the day and opened at night when the temperature outside has gone down.

There is more information on the NHS website.


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