Responding to the level 4 heatwave alert Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said:
“With temperatures soaring, and a level 4 heat warning being called for the first time ever, the pressure on the NHS will be extreme 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 has declared a red alert for early next week and the NHS will be very working closely with other public services including local government and the police, to do all it can to prepare for a surge in demand for heat-related admissions.
“Healthcare leaders will, as always, endeavour to ensure the continued delivery of care to patients but this exceptional hot spell will put the NHS under huge pressure.
“NHS leaders are urging their communities to follow the latest public health advice and do all they can to stay safe, including avoiding being out in the sun during the day, drinking plenty of water, wearing a hat and sun cream and checking on vulnerable family, friends and neighbours.”