The Heatwave and Summer preparedness programme, overseen by Public Health England (PHE), is now operational until 15th September.
We continue to have the added challenge COVID-19. Many of us are spending more time at home and potentially be exposed to high indoor temperatures. We know that people who are vulnerable to dying from high indoor temperatures overlap with those who are vulnerable to illness from COVID-19.
We know that death rates rise soon after temperature increases, with many deaths occurring in the first one to two days, so swift action is needed when a Level 2 alert comes to you (Level 2 alert = 60% risk of heatwave in the next 2–3 days). The triggering threshold temperatures for South East England are 310C by day and 160C by night.
In total, an estimated 2,556 heat-related deaths occurred in summer 2020 across all ages in England. This is the highest estimate of heat-related deaths since the introduction of the Heatwave Plan for England in 2004. This equates to an estimated 72 heat-related deaths in 2020 that could have been prevented in Berkshire. We also know the impact of heat on mortality is not reflected in admissions, supporting the idea that many heat-related deaths occur before people come to medical attention.
We will keep you informed of when the levels are increased, but for now, please have a look at the Beat the Heat Poster which is attached below.