Jul 15, 2022

National health alert issued after Met Office’s ‘red’ risk-to-life heat warning

UK health bosses on Friday warned of intense pressure on emergency services as the rail industry urged passengers not to travel, after meteorologists issued an unprecedented "Red" risk-to-life heat warning for early next week. The Met Office, Britain's national weather and climate service, forecast an "Exceptional hot spell on Monday and Tuesday leading to widespread impacts on people and infrastructure" and affecting much of England. A red warning means it is "Very likely that there will be a risk to life, with substantial disruption to travel, energy supplies and possibly widespread damage to property and infrastructure", according to the official definition. Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said the NHS would be under intense pressure over the coming days, "With severe bed shortages, ambulance services severely stretched and several health systems around the country having to declare critical incidents". The Met Office also warned of a "High risk" of heat-sensitive systems and equipment failing, leading to local power outages and the loss of other services such as water or mobile phone coverage.

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