With hot weather and tropical conditions due to hit Leeds this week, the local NHS is reminding people how to stay safe and well while reducing potential pressure on the health system.
NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has issued the advice in an effort to reduce the impact of weather-related conditions.
Last year, across the NHS in England, one of the busiest days experienced by A&E departments was during the period of prolonged warm weather.
This included people affected by dehydration, heat stroke and being overexposed to the sun when it’s at its strongest.
The CCG is also sharing the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) advice to anyone considering cooling off in open water such as rivers or reservoirs.
Despite the heat, the temperature of open water will still be low, and those tempted to cool off with a swim may get into difficulties with cold water shock.
Cold water shock can affect even the strongest swimmers, and every year hundreds of people get into difficulty or drown in open water at the coast and at inland waterways such as canals, rivers and reservoirs.
If you are planning to go swimming, choose a safe place such as a lido or lifeguarded beach.
Dr Gordon Sinclair, a local GP and Clinical Chair for NHS Leeds CCG, said: “While the warm weather and sunshine is an opportunity for people to top up their vitamin D, this week’s combination of heat and humidity could be quite uncomfortable for many people, especially the very young, old and those with breathing problems or other health conditions.
“Our health and care services are incredibly busy all year round, but spells of extreme weather can have a significant impact especially where people could have taken small precautions to avoid getting ill or injured.
“If you do start to feel unwell and it’s not an emergency please contact NHS 111, where a trained advisor will help you access the most appropriate care.
“You can also get health advice and remedies from your local pharmacist.”
People can stay up to date with the latest weather forecasts and alerts through the Met Office on its social media channels – Facebook (metoffice) or Twitter (@metoffice) or visiting www.metoffice.gov.uk
For summer health advice visit www.nhs.uk/heatwave or pick up a summer health leaflet from your local GP practice in Leeds.