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Patient demand for NHS heat advice spirals by 450%

The number of patients who have visited the NHS Choices website for advice on heat exhaustion, heatstroke and heat rash has increased by almost 450% this month, when compared with last July.

The latest figures, which come as the UK has experienced a heatwave, show that there were over 230,000 visits to the page with heat exhaustion and heatstroke advice  by 23 July this year, while in the whole of July 2017 there were just 52,143.

Over the same period, visits to the page about heat rash have more than doubled, with 150,517 visits, up from 61,023 last July.

The NHS Choices hayfever advice page has also seen a huge increase in visits this year, particularly in June when there were 320,035 visits – up from 56,931 in June last year.

This comes as the Met Office and Public Health England issued a level 3 heat health watch alert to a large proportion of England, which has warned people to stay out of the sun and keep their home as cool as possible.

PHE has also recently urged patients to check with their GP that they have had two doses of the MMR vaccine before going on holiday, as cases have continued to increase. It explained that summer festivals and holidays abroad to areas with measles outbreaks could see significant numbers of unprotected teenagers and young adults could catch the condition.

Readers' comments (2)

  • On the contrary, GP Practices are quiet during the heat wave as coming at the time of school holidays, everybody is out seeking respite in the shade. For once, NHS Choices claims it catering to genuine patient need Are they proving that their existence makes any sense?

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  • Meanwhile a pharmacy just ordered medicines for my patient who died a few weeks ago...... if only there had been a 50p charge the dead man would have been protesting vehemently.

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