A better Medway
Published: Thursday, 6th July 2023

With warmer temperatures forecast, a yellow Heat-Health Alert has been issued for the south-east, including Kent and Medway.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and the Met Office guidance, will apply from Friday (7 July) until Sunday morning. 

A yellow Heat-Health Alert means a rise in risk to health for individuals over 65 or anyone with pre-existing conditions - as the human body has to work harder in hot weather to regulate temperature; it also signals a likely increase in the use of health care services by vulnerable people - who are most likely to be affected as thermometers rise. 

Given this, residents are asked to check in on vulnerable families, friends and neighbours to make sure they keep safe and well. 

The latest update follows a run of yellow and amber Heat-Health Alerts issued under UKHSA's new Weather-Health Alerting System for recent spells of hot weather across many parts of England.

Check in on vulnerable neighbours, friends and family

Eileen Sills, Chief Nurse at NHS Kent and Medway, said: “However much we might like the sun, we know that it can have detrimental effects on our health, especially for the young, our elderly residents and those who are most vulnerable. By taking simple precautions, such as staying hydrated and finding shade during the hottest parts of the day, you can significantly reduce the risk of becoming ill and needing the services of the NHS. Please also do check in on your vulnerable neighbours, families and friends to make sure they are aware of the forecast and following the necessary advice.” 

Other key tips to stay well in hot weather include:   

  • Drinking plenty of fluids like water and limiting how much alcohol you consume 
  • Closing the curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler 
  • Making sure you have supplies of any medicines you have to take, to avoid needing to go out in the heat of the day 
  • Never leaving anyone, particularly babies, young children, and the elderly, and also animals, in a closed, parked vehicle, and 
  • Following local safety advice when going into the water to cool down. 

Should you become unwell, unless it is an emergency, please remember to use 111 as your first point of contact for medical support. By phoning 111 or visiting 111.nhs.uk, you will be directed to the right service for you. In an emergency, always call 999. 

You can also visit Kent and Medway Integrated Care System’s website – stopthinkchoose.co.uk – which lists local services, such as pharmacies and urgent treatment centres. 

The NHS website – www.nhs.uk – provides advice and guidance throughout the year on how to keep fit and well, including staying safe in hot weather 

For information on the common signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heatstroke, visit NHS.UK

For more tips about staying safe and healthy at this time of year, the Met Office has published advice on how to plan for the heat 

Read more top tips on staying cool this summer


You can sign up for UKHSA Weather Health Alerts here and specify what region you would like to receive alerts for and read the read the UKHSA blog post on staying safe during periods of extreme weather here

News archive