The NHS in Gloucestershire is urging residents to take steps to stay safe and well as temperatures are set to rise across the county over the coming days.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and the Met Office have issued a Level 3 heat-health alert. The alert, which has been issued for three days, from Sunday, 17 July, highlights health risks for the public in general, not just those who are vulnerable.

For some people, especially older people and those with underlying health conditions, the heat can bring real health risks.

That’s why the NHS is urging everyone to keep an eye on family members, friends and neighbours who may be at risk and check on them in advance to see if they need any support.

Dr Andy Seymour, Chief Medical Officer at NHS Gloucestershire said: “Extreme heat can bring real health risks to the public, we would like to take this opportunity to remind residents of steps that they can take, whilst also reducing potential pressure on the local healthcare system.

Our health and care services are incredibly busy all year round, but spells of extreme weather can have a significant impact.”

The top ways for staying safe when the heat arrives are to:

  • Look out for those who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated. Older people, those with underlying conditions and those who live alone are particularly at risk.
  • Close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler.
  • Use cool spaces if going outdoors.
  • Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol.
  • Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children, vulnerable adults, or animals.
  • Try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm, when the UV rays are strongest.
  • If you have to go outside in the heat, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Avoid physical exertion during the hottest parts of the day.
  • Make sure you take water with you if you are travelling.
  • With anticipated pressure on local NHS services, local people are asked to carefully consider their healthcare options over the coming days. This includes keeping A&E and 999 clear for life threatening emergencies.

    If people are ill or injured and unsure where to turn, they are advised to use or call 111. The local ASAP Glos NHS App and website can also provide step by step care advice on specific health conditions and which local service to use when.

    The NHS is highlighting the benefits of getting advice on minor health issues from a local community pharmacy – they can also advise on whether another NHS service is needed. Most Community Minor Illness and Injury Units are open until 8pm every day. You can book by calling the local MIIU line on 0300 421 7777 or 111.

    For advice and information from the Met Office follow this link.

    For NHS Guidance click here.