Community nurses are visiting over 1,000 vulnerable people in Sutton this week to help keep them safe and well in the extreme weather.

Elderly people and those who are bedbound or have serious illnesses will be visited by Sutton Health and Care community nurses with advice on staying cool and hydrated in the heat as temperatures are expected to reach record breaking highs of 40 degrees putting vulnerable people in particular at risk.

Karen Scanlan, Community Nurse at Sutton Health and Care, said: “The extreme heat could be life-threatening for some – especially those in high-risk groups, such as elderly people, babies, young children, the bedbound, and those with heart, respiratory and serious health problems – the main risks include dehydration, overheating, heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

“Our community nurses will be checking in on our vulnerable patients to make sure they are OK and know how to stay cool and hydrated.”

Other frontline staff from across the St George’s, Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals and Health Group – of which Sutton Health and Care is a part of – are also advising the wider community to keep a close eye on elderly and vulnerable friends, family and neighbours who may need more support in the heat as well as offering top tips on how to stay safe as the temperature rises and how to get health care advice during the heatwave if needed. Those attending appointments over the coming days are also being encouraged to bring water bottles with them to stay hydrated.

Dr Paul Holmes, Clinical Director of Emergency Medicine at St George’s, said: “We know it’s going to be very hot and temperatures are going to be really high. If you are going out in the sun, make sure you wear some sun cream, wear a hat and drink plenty of water to keep hydrated.

“If you do need medical help, we advise you call NHS 111 and they will put you through to a GP, an urgent treatment centre or, if you need it, an emergency department. Often patients can be seen more quickly for minor illnesses and injuries in other healthcare settings to emergency departments. Of course, we are always here if you need us for serious illness or injury such as severe chest pain, stroke, a broken bone or if you are bleeding. Look after yourselves this week!”

The Group is also issuing advice through social media including ensuring both children and adults with conditions such as asthma and hayfever have adequate supplies and use their preventer medication as well as have rescue treatments on hand if needed to reduce the risk of requiring urgent medical help.

GP surgeries, including their out of hours services, and pharmacies remain open as usual as does the 24/7 Mental Health Crisis Line – 0800 028 8000 – which is run by South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust. The crisis line team are trained NHS mental health professionals who offer emotional support and advice to people of all ages – children, young people, and adults.

The Group is also ensuring it is looking after its staff by supplying thousands of ice lollies for staff working throughout the heatwave to take a break and cool down with a cold refreshment.

Notes to editors

Community nurses from Sutton Health and Care pictured.

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