Heatwave leads to rise in hospital admissions

HOSPITAL admissions in Sheffield soared along with the temperature last weekend.

The heatwave conditions are believed to be behind an increase in the number of people visiting the accident and emergency department at the Northern General Hospital and the minor injuries unit at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital.

Dr Jeremy Wight, director of public health at NHS Sheffield, said: "During the summertime we often see a rise in the number of people taking part in activities such as exercising, barbecuing and also drinking alcoholic beverages – activities that can sometimes result in injuries that will require medical attention.

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"If you are in need of non-urgent medical attention you can call your GP practice, even if the practice is closed over the weekend or in an evening, as they all offer an out-of-hours service. Alternatively, NHS Direct is available 24 hours a day on 0845 46 47 or www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk.

"It is important that accident and emergency has the capacity to treat people for critical and life-threatening situations, including suspected heart attack, chest pain, serious breathing difficulties, unconsciousness, head injuries, suspected broken bones, deep wounds such as stab wounds or heavy blood loss.

"For conditions not on this list we urge people to consider the alternative treatment options available to them."

As well as the minor injuries unit, there are two walk-in health centres open in Sheffield every day from 8am to 8pm – at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital and also on Broad Lane in the city centre. These facilities treat ailments, illnesses and injuries such as abdominal pain, burns, sprains and cuts.

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Dr Wight added: "By all means enjoy the good weather, but we also advise you to follow some simple advice for looking after your health.

"Try to stay cool by avoiding being outside during the hottest part of the day, wear a hat, use sunscreen and drink plenty of water."