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NHS faces ‘summer crisis’ as heatwave sees record numbers at A and E

The mercury reached 35C (95F) on Thursday at Heathrow, west London, and is expected to go even higher before thunderstorms bring some relief. The Met Office says the all-time record of 38.5C could be exceeded in south-east England on Friday.

The weather has brought with it serious concerns about health as higher temperatures increase the probability of dying from cardiac, kidney and respiratory diseases for some people, with associated higher air pollution also posing a risk. On Thursday, a “high” air pollution alert was issued for London.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) warned of a major public health crisis unless action was taken. It said sustainable new buildings were the solution in the future but said that in the short term patients and nurses needed to be protected through easy access to drinking water, relaxation of dress codes and effective ventilation systems.

The Met Office issued a level three, amber heat health watch warning on Monday, which acts as an alert to health providers that extreme temperatures are on the way. It was supposed to end at 9am on Friday but has been extended by 24 hours. More

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