Nurses urged to prepare patients for heatwave risks

Show patients how to stay cool and hydrated in hot weather, says Public Health England

Nurses' input is key to protecting vulnerable patients during a heatwave, says Public Health England.

PHE’s heatwave plan outlines how health and social care professionals can alert people to hot-weather risks, such as heatstroke and respiratory and heart problems – and help them prepare for a heatwave.

The plan includes a series of guides for staff in hospitals, care homes, schools, and the community. Staff are urged to read and act on them before the beginning of June.

Advice for community staff on home visits includes ensuring patients know how to seek medical help, have working fridges and fans, and wear light cotton clothes in hot weather. Medication that exacerbates heatstroke, such as those that can cause dehydration, should be reviewed.

School nurses and teachers should ensure children have plenty to drink, wear sunscreen and hats when outside, and that buildings are kept ventilated.

In care homes, all staff should be aware of symptoms of heat-related illness and have a ready supply of water and rehydration salts.

Further information: 

PHE heatwave plan