Senior doctor warns of increased pressures due to hot weather ahead of impending strike action (26 June)

The president of the Society for Acute Medicine has warned of increased pressure on the NHS amid the current hot weather and ahead of the next period of industrial action which starts tomorrow.

Dr Nick Murch said clinicians were already experiencing “significant” pressure that will be exacerbated by strike action by junior doctors which runs from 7am tomorrow (Thursday, 27 June) until 7am on Tuesday (2 July).

“Colleagues across the country were already experiencing significant levels of pressure prior to the hot weather and this period of extreme heat is increasing that further,” he said. “This will be exacerbated by the impending strike action.

“Our biggest concern is the lack of resilience at a time when the whole health and social care system is stretched beyond its limit.

“It is likely heat-related issues will filter through even after the temperature drops which will add to the strain on an already fragile system.

“In terms of the current hot weather and the heat-related issues that follow, we urge people to stay well hydrated, keep out of intense heat and keep check on vulnerable members of their families and communities.

“Despite all of these additional challenges, however, we must continue to point out that these should not distract from the underlying causes of the issues facing the NHS and social care which should be at the forefront of politicians’ minds and activity as we approach polling day next week.”