London Ambulance Service has put out a health warning as West London bakes in weather more suited to the Mediterranean this week.
With the mercury set to hit 32 degrees, paramedics are braced for a rise in 999 calls and Londoners are being urged to take extra care in the sun and drink plenty of water.
LAS director of operations, Jason Killens said: “We always see a rise in calls as temperatures rise; this is due to various reasons including people forgetting to keep hydrated and the heat making pre-existing conditions like asthma worse. I urge all Londoners out enjoying the hot weather to stay safe by making sure you carry any medication you may need with you, keep cool by sitting in the shade, drink plenty of water and avoid drinking alcohol in the sun."
Earlier this week we reported that the heatwave is expected to give way to 'huge thunderstorms' across the country.
Control room staff answered 5,472 emergency calls yesterday (July 16), which was an 11 per cent jump on the same time last week. Among the types of calls that the Service has seen an increase in are patients fainting and people with breathing problems.
Mr Killens added: "Anyone with minor conditions should consider other healthcare options, such as calling NHS 111 or visiting a minor injuries unit, NHS walk-in centre or local pharmacist. If they need to go to hospital for non-emergency treatment, they should use a taxi or get a lift from a friend or relative."
Meanwhile the Chiswick based Royal National Lifeboat Institute took to social media to warn perspiring Londoners from taking a dip in the Thames, saying: "A #heatwave might be coming but don’t think its a good idea to swim in the #Thames. Strong tides + Cold Water shock combined can be a killer"
- Some people are more at risk from the heat than others – for example, older people, babies and young children
- Try to keep as cool as possible – wear a hat when sitting or working outside and use plenty of suncream
- Patients with chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma and bronchitis should carry their prescribed medication
- People with serious health problems (for example heart conditions), should avoid going out in the heat, especially between 11am and 3pm
- Drink plenty of water and avoid drinking alcohol in the sun
- Consider other healthcare providers in the community such as your local pharmacy or walk-in centre for less serious illnesses and injuries. In an emergency always dial 999 for an ambulance.
Have you got any tips for coping with the hot weather? Tell us on Twitter @getwestlondon or post your comments below.