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London Ambulance Service urges Londoners to stay safe in the heat

As temperatures in the capital are set to soar again over the weekend, medics at London Ambulance Service (LAS) are encouraging people to take steps to stay safe.London Ambulance in front of Tower Bridge

Forecasters are expecting temperatures in London to reach 37 degrees Celsius over the next few days, with the Met Office issuing an amber warning of extreme heat for large parts of England and Wales.

Pauline Cranmer, Gold Commander for the London Ambulance Service, said: “As temperatures climb again, we’d encourage Londoners to keep taking steps to stay safe in the heat – including keeping hydrated and staying out of the sun during the hottest part of the day (11am to 3pm). Please also check in on older and vulnerable family, friends and neighbours.

“Our services are extremely busy, so we ask people to only call 999 if it’s a life-threatening emergency and to use other services if it’s less urgent, for instance 111 online, your GP or a pharmacy.

On the hottest days in July, LAS took between 6,500 and 7,000 calls a day compared to a typical busy day pre-pandemic where we would usually answer about 5,500 calls.

Pauline continued: “Our staff and volunteers are working incredibly hard to ensure our patients receive the care they need, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our colleagues working in difficult conditions.”

In particular, LAS is encouraging Londoners to remember the following important tips to keep themselves safe during hot weather:

  • Please be aware of the dangers of spending too long in the sun and the health risks of hot weather. Avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight – especially between 11am and 3pm when the sun’s UV rays are at their strongest. Try to stick to shade and wear sun cream.
  • In warmer weather it’s also important to drink plenty of water. If you’re heading out, take a bottle of water with you. Keeping hydrated is especially important if you’re drinking alcohol.
  • Close curtains in rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors. Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol, dress appropriately for the weather and slow down when it is hot.
  • If catching a train or the tube, people should also make sure to carry a bottle of water and step off the train at the next station if they feel unwell.
  • Older people, the very young and people with pre-existing conditions are more at risk in hot weather – so please look out for neighbours, family or friends who may need some help and make sure they are able to keep cool during the heatwave.

Londoners should also be aware of the Mayor’s Refill London initiative – a network of more than 100 drinking water fountains in busy parts of the capital. These can be found via the Refill app.

For more information, visit: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/seasonal-health/heatwave-how-to-cope-in-hot-weather/