Heatwave creating winter conditions in the NHS
27 July 2018
- Temperatures yesterday led to a surge of patients suffering dehydration and breathing problems.
- NHS bosses said that operations were being delayed because beds were being taken up by older people sent from care homes, and that ageing hospital buildings were putting patients and staff at risk in the sweltering heat.
- Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow health secretary, called for the government to introduce emergency measures to protect patients
Commenting on the impact of the sustained heatwave, NHS Providers deputy chief executive, Saffron Cordery, said:
"These days there is no real let-up in the pressure on NHS services in summer in the way we used to see.
"But the heatwave has meant that in some places at least, we’re back to winter conditions – in hospitals, community, mental health and ambulance services - and although fewer staff are off sick there are more away on holiday.
The heatwave has meant that in some places at least, we’re back to winter conditions.Interim Chief Executivetweet this
"Some trusts are reporting record numbers of people coming in to A&E, with increased emergency admissions, often for respiratory problems and conditions made worse by dehydration. We have heard concerns about large numbers of people from care homes requiring treatment.
"This extra activity is leading to delays for patients requiring planned operations such as knee and hip replacements.
"The extreme heat has also highlighted the shortcomings of ageing buildings which are not designed or equipped to deal with these conditions.
"Staff and patients are paying the price now for past decisions to delay investment in the NHS estate."