Heat-Health Alerts issued by UKHSA and the Met Office

As of Friday 9 June, the Heat-Health Alerts issued by the UK Health Security Agency have been extended until 9am on Tuesday 13 June. Five regions of England are under an amber alert, while a further 4 are currently under a yellow alert.

8 June 2023

The yellow alert issued yesterday by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and the Met Office has been escalated to an amber alert in 5 regions:

  • West Midlands
  • East Midlands
  • East of England
  • South East
  • South West

The decision to move to an amber alert has been made due to latest Met Office forecasts, which indicate there is a high likelihood that forecasted temperatures will be reached rapidly over the weekend in these regions, while we are also likely to see high overnight temperatures. An amber alert indicates that weather impacts are likely to be felt across the whole health service, and at this level we may begin to see some health impacts across the wider population, not just the most vulnerable.

As of today, a yellow alert has also been issued in the North East, North West and Yorkshire and Humber regions of England. London remains at this level. Both alerts remain in place from 9am on Friday 9 June to 9am on Monday 12 June.

The Met Office has also issued a yellow alert for thunderstorms in a number of regions from 2pm to 9pm on Saturday.

7 June 2023

First Heat-Health Alert of the year issued by UKHSA and the Met Office

The UK Health Security Agency and the Met Office have issued the first heat-health alert of the year, in 6 regions of England.

The regions included in the yellow alert are:

  • London
  • East Midlands
  • West Midlands
  • East of England
  • South East
  • South West

The alert is currently in place from 9am on Friday 9 June to 9am on Monday 12 June, and if current forecasted temperatures are reached it is likely that there could be some impacts across the health and social care sector.

Under the new HHA system introduced by UKHSA and the Met Office, a yellow alert means that any impacts include the increased use of health care services by vulnerable populations and an increase in risk to health for individuals over the age of 65 or those with pre-existing health conditions, including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. There is also the potential for indoor environments, including health and care settings, to become very warm.

Dr Agostinho Sousa, Head of Extreme Events and Health Protection at UKHSA, said:

In the coming days we are likely to experience our first sustained period of hot weather of the year so far, so it’s important that everyone ensures they keep hydrated and cool while enjoying the sun.

Forecasted temperatures this week will primarily impact those over the age of 65 or those with pre-existing health conditions such as respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.

If you have friends, family or neighbours who you know are more vulnerable to the effects of hot weather, it is important you check in on them and ensure they are aware of the forecasts and are following the necessary advice.

Here are the ways in which you can keep yourself and others safe during periods of hot weather:

  • check on family, friends and neighbours who may be at higher risk of becoming unwell, and if you are at higher risk, ask them to do the same for you
  • know the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heatstroke and what to do if you or someone else has them
  • keep out of the sun at the hottest time of the day, between 11am and 3pm
  • if you are going to do a physical activity (for example, exercise or walking the dog), plan to do these during times of the day when it is cooler such as the morning or evening
  • keep your home cool by closing windows and curtains in rooms that face the sun
  • if you do go outside, cover up with suitable clothing such as an appropriate hat and sunglasses, seek shade and apply sunscreen regularly
  • drink plenty of fluids and limit your alcohol intake

Dan Harris, Deputy Chief Meteorologist at the Met Office, said:

Temperatures will rise later this week and into the weekend, with a plume of warm air being drawn in from the south. Temperatures over the weekend could peak around 30°C in some parts of England and remain well above average overnight through the weekend.

Coupled with the rise in temperatures is an increase in the likelihood of some potentially heavy and thundery showers, which could bring some localised disruption for some from late on Friday and into the weekend, though it is not possible to be definitive about exact details this far from the potential event.

Source: UKHSA