Heatwave hell – Labour calls for NHS summer action plan

As Labour calls for a NHS summer action plan to keep patients safe in the extreme heat reports of high temperatures leading to a number of patients suffering dehydration and breathing problems have been heard.

“It is clear that the traditional lull in NHS activity during the quieter summer months is a thing of the past”

NHS bosses revealed that operations were on hold due to beds required by older people sent from care homes, and that ageing hospital buildings were putting patients and staff at risk in the sweltering heat.

Labour is calling for the Government to publish an urgent update and an action plan for how the Government is supporting the NHS to deal with the current extreme heat, including:

  1. Whether patients can expect to access routine services without disruption in the coming weeks

2. What additional resources is the Government providing to hospitals to help them cope

3.What extra guidance is being given to NHS staff

4. New plans to make sure that NHS buildings are properly equipped to deal with the extreme heat

Jonathan Ashworth, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, has written to Health Secretary Matt Hancock to warn “there is growing evidence that the severe hot weather is putting considerable extra strain on hospitals this summer, with wards over full and staff struggling to cope.”

Ashworth says: “It is clear that the traditional lull in NHS activity during the quieter summer months is a thing of the past. Hospitals now face year round pressures. With more hot weather on the way it is time for the Government to step in to help with an NHS summer action plan to keep patients safe.”