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#GPnews: Public health warning as temperatures reach 34C

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16:15 Public Health England and NHS England have issued health warnings on the hottest day for a hundred years.

Temperatures in Gravesend, Kent, reached 34.4C – the highest recording since 1911.

Dr Thomas Waite, from the extreme events team at PHE, told the BBC: ‘Think today about what you can do, and for those around you, to stay cool during the daytime and particularly at night.

Much of the advice on beating the heat is common sense and for most people there’s nothing to really worry about. But for some people, such as older people, those with underlying health conditions and those with young children, summer heat can bring real health risks.’

14:22 The Government is facing criticism from campaigners for claiming they are doing enough as is to tackle air pollution.

A cross-party group of MPs’ warned in April that air pollution in the UK is a ‘public health emergency’ but in its response today, the Government rejected the group’s proposals including more clean air zones, a diesel scrappage scheme and expanded charging for polluting vehicles.

The Government said: ‘We will introduce new, tougher targets which will drive down air pollution from all sources, reducing transboundary pollution and significantly reducing the number of premature deaths across the EU caused by poor air quality.’

But Bridget Fox, transport campaigner at Campaign for Better Transport, told the Guardian: ‘It’s clear that the Government’s rhetoric on tackling lethal and illegal levels of air pollution is still not matched by action.’

12:00 The quality of life for girls growing up in England widely varies, an analysis has found.

The worst place to grow up a girl is Middlesbrough, while the best is Waverley in Surrey, a charity said.

Plan International UK scored 346 local authority areas based on statistics on child poverty, teenage pregnancy, life expectancy, GCSE results and your unemployments, reports the BBC.

The charity said the Government should take ‘urgent action’ in light of the findings, which also looked at issues with regular sexual harassment, pressures to have the perfect body and cyber bullying.

09:40 The cross-bench All-Party Parliamentary Group on Drug Policy Reform, formed of MPs and peers, has called on the Government to review the legality of cannabis for medicinal purposes.

The commissioned has a review into the medicinal benefits of cannabis, finding it had benefits in relieving chronic pain, spasticity related to MS, nausea and vomiting with chemotherapy, and helped with management of anxiety.

The group’s co-chair, Baroness Molly Meacher, told the Mirror that in light of the findings, the ban on use for medicinal purposes was ‘irrational’.

She said: ‘The findings of our inquiry and review of evidence from across the world are clear. Cannabis works as a medicine for a number of medical conditions.

‘The evidence has been strong enough to persuade a growing number of countries and US states to legalise access to medical cannabis. Against this background, the UK scheduling of cannabis as a substance that has no medical value is irrational.’

But a Home Office spokesperson said: ‘This Government has no plans to legalise cannabis. There is a substantial body of scientific and medical evidence to show that cannabis is a harmful drug which can damage people’s mental and physical health.’


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