COMMONS

Chair raises heatwave concerns with Public Health England

13 July 2018

The Environmental Audit Committee publishes a letter from Mary Creagh MP, Chair of the Committee, to Professor Paul Cosford, Director for Health Protection and Medical Director at Public Health England.

The letter requests information relating to the Government’s response to the ongoing heatwave, particularly where it relates to a potential loss of life.

The letter notes that in evidence given to the Committee by Professor Cosford, he stated that while heatwaves were deemed to be taking place after a prolonged period of 30-degree heat, heat-related deaths start occurring at 25 degrees.

Chair's comments

Mary Creagh MP, Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, said:

“Every year, 2,000 people die from heat-related conditions in the UK.

“We heard that heat-related deaths and illnesses start to happen when temperatures go above 25°C. Last week, temperatures soared across the UK reaching 30.3°C in Cheshire and 30.1°C in west London.

“We want to know whether there has there been an increase in heat-related mortality and hospital admissions, and whether the Heatwave Plan for England has been effective in reducing heat-related deaths and health problems this summer.

“Heatwaves pose a serious health risk to people with pre-existing health conditions but the impacts of heatwaves are usually only analysed after they are over. We are keen to hear if local resilience plans are working as they should to keep the vulnerable safe.”

The Committee launched its inquiry into heatwaves in February 2018 and the final evidence session was held with responsible Ministers on the 6 June.

Further information

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