Heatwave: Advice on keeping cool at Horton hospital

Horton General Hospital
Horton General Hospital

Patients and their families at the Horton General Hospital in Banbury have been issued important advice on how to stay cool during the heatwave.

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has made sure to promote the important message of staying hydrated in this hot weather to both staff and the public.

Wards across the trust, including at the Horton, have been advised on what to do to support patients during a heatwave.

Medical director Dr Tony Berendt and chief nurse Sam Foster have written to all staff thanking them for their hard work in providing care for patients under busy circumstances.

Some key actions include:

• Identifying naturally cooler rooms that vulnerable patients can be moved to if necessary;

• Ensuring patients receive adequate provision of fluids;

• Providing water-rich foods such as fruits, yoghurt, and salads;

• Ensuring that staffing levels will be sufficient to cover anticipated heatwave periods;

• Providing regular wet towels/wipes, foot baths;

• Weighing patients regularly – weight loss as a measure of dehydration;

• Repeat messages on risk and protective measures to staff;

• Ensuring that cool rooms are consistently below 26ºC as this is the temperature threshold at which many vulnerable patients find it difficult to cool themselves naturally if sweating is impaired due to old age, sickness or medication;

• Identifying particularly vulnerable individuals (those with chronic/severe illness or who are bed bound) for prioritisation in cool rooms;

• Monitoring and minimising temperatures in all patient areas by turning off unnecessary lights and electrical equipment.