The heatwave we are experiencing on an unprecedented basis is part of a new normal with significant health implications according to this story, which tells us:
But the chief executive of the College of Paramedics, Tracy Nicholls, warned that the heatwave posed real danger, particularly to the vulnerable such as elderly people.
“This isn’t like a lovely hot day where we can put a bit of sunscreen on and go out and enjoy a swim or a meal outside,” she said. “This is serious heat that could actually ultimately end in people’s deaths because it is so ferocious and we’re just not set up for that sort of heat in this country.”
Meteorologists have given an 80% chance of the mercury topping the UK’s record temperature of 38.7C, set in Cambridge in 2019, with temperatures in London expected to hit 40C on Tuesday.
Scientists said the link between climate change extreme heatwaves was now clear. “This shows the UK is already on a warming trend when it comes to heat extremes,” said Dr Mark McCarthy from the Met Office. “Human-caused climate change has set us on a course to see temperature extremes in the UK that would be highly unlikely under a ‘natural’ climate.”
The new health secretary, Steve Barclay, said extra measures were being put in place for ambulance services, including the provision of more call handlers and extra working hours.
Nicholls said the announcement was welcome, but added: “I don’t know how that money will translate into hours, because it’s quite late in the day, quite honestly.”
Victor Adebowale, the NHS Confederation chair and crossbench peer, said that many hospital buildings in the UK were not equipped for extreme heat.