A better Medway
Published: Tuesday, 5th September 2023

An early September spell of hot weather has triggered an amber Heat-Health Alert for the South East, including Medway and Kent.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and the Met Office guidance, upgraded from an initial yellow alert, applies from 12noon, Tuesday (5 September), to 9pm, Sunday (10 September).

Over this period, hot air pulled in from southern Europe causes daytime temperatures to climb from low to high 20°Cs  - likely peaking midweek, with 32°C possible in isolated spots in the southeast. Nights will also be unseasonally warm and humid.

An amber Heat-Health Alert means high temperatures could affect anyone, not just the elderly, very young or those with pre-existing health conditions, and impact the whole health service.

Given this, residents are asked to keep up to date with the weather forecast, take commonsense, practical steps to keep themselves and their families well and check in on vulnerable families, friends and neighbours to make sure they stay safe.

Check on vulnerable neighbours, families and friends

Dr Ash Peshen, Deputy Chief Medical Officer 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
  • Keeping windows closed in the heat of the day and opening then at night when temperatures drop
  • Having supplies of any medicines you have to take to avoid needing to go out when the sun is strong
  • 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 which lists local services, such as pharmacies and urgent treatment centres.

Read more tips on how to stay cool this summer

News archive