With temperatures set to soar this weekend, West Leicestershire City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is urging people to avoid A&E and take extra care in the heat.
The Met office has predicted temperatures will reach 30 degrees celsius this weekend and will not drop below 10 degrees at night. While most people enjoy sunny weather, extreme heat can be potentially dangerous. In some extreme cases it can even be fatal.
The heat can affect anyone, but some groups run a greater risk of serious harm. Older people, babies, manual workers and those who have chronic conditions such as heart problems, lung problems and diabetes need to take extra care.
Taking simple precautions such as wearing a sun hat, applying sun cream and keeping hydrated can go a long way to keeping people safe in the sun.
Dr Nick Willmott, Urgent Care Lead for West Leicestershire CCG, said: “There are simple steps people can take whilst out in the sun. Try to stay in the shade between 11am and 2pm to avoid the main heat of the day. Drink plenty of water and soft drinks to keep hydrated and avoid alcohol. If you are exposed to the sun wear a sun hat, apply sun cream throughout the day and avoid strenuous activity such as running, lifting and carrying.
“If your condition isn’t serious and you are looking for some health advice please call your local GP first. If your GP is not available follow the out of hours instructions on the practice answerphone. Your local pharmacy can also help with advice and over the counter remedies.
“It is also important to have a well-stocked medicine cabinet with sun lotion, after-sun and rehydration sachets just in case you have spent too much time in the sun.”
West Leicestershire CCG would like to remind patients of the range of other options when deciding how to look after yourself and your family if unwell. They include the following:
- Self Care - This is the best choice to treat very minor illnesses, ailments and injuries. A range of common illnesses and complaints can be treated with a well-stocked medicine cabinet and plenty of rest.
- Pharmacy - Your local chemist can provide confidential, expert advice and treatment for a range of common illnesses and complaints, without having to wait for a GP appointment or go to your A&E.
- NHS Direct - NHS Direct provides expert health advice and information via a confidential telephone service, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can call 0845 46 47
- GP services - Your GP can help if you have an illness or injury that won’t go away. Simply make an appointment.
- Urgent Care Centre – for conditions that are urgent but not life threatening
- Accident and Emergency - An emergency is a critical or life-threatening situation, and A&E departments or the 999 ambulance service should only be used in these situations.
Check the weather forecast and any high temperature health warnings by visitingwww.metoffice.giv.uk. If you feel unwell or are concerned about exhaustion or sunstroke call NHS Direct on 0845 4647, or visit www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk.