WEST Berkshire residents are being asked to take extra care and look out for vulnerable people during the predicted heatwave this week - with high speed train services also affected by high temperatures.
According to the Met Office, temperatures are expected to reach 27 degrees in Newbury today and the the district is set to see temperatures soar to a scorching 29 degrees by Wednesday.
The Met Office has issued a level 2 heat health-watch across England, saying that there is 80 per cent probability of heatwave conditions between noon today (Tuesday) and 6am on Thursday.
Heat health warning range from level 1 (summer preparedness and long term planning); level 2 (alert and readiness); level 3 (heatwave action); and level 4 (national emergency).
People are being advised to keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm and to apply suitable sunscreen and make sure that water intake (rather that tea, coffee or alcohol) is kept high.
Other advice for keeping safe in the heat includes wearing UV sunglasses, preferably wraparound, to reduce UV exposure to the eyes and wearing light, loose-fitting cotton clothes, a hat and light scarf.
The advice also includes looking out for others especially vulnerable groups such as older people, young children and babies and those with serious illnesses.
West Berkshire’s Executive Member for Health & Wellbeing, Graham Jones, said: “Problems linked with hot weather, such as dehydration and heat exhaustion, can affect anyone, although certain people are at a particularly high risk. These include children, those with long term health conditions and our older residents, especially those living alone.”
He added: “Taking a few minutes to check up on an older person or someone who is ill, can be really important in hot weather. It only takes a moment and can sometimes help avoid a serious illness.”
For further advice and information visit the NHS Choices website: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Summerhealth/Pages/Heatwaveamberalert.aspx
St John Ambulance offer the following advice for those suffering from heatstroke, which can prove life threatening: quickly move the affected person to a cool place, wrap them in a cool wet sheet until ambulance services arrive, or fan/sponge them with cold water.
To treat sunburn, cover the skin with lightweight clothing and move the person out of the sun, preferably indoors, then cool the skin by gently sponging with cold water. If the burn blisters, this indicates a severe burn and seek medical advice. If the skin does not blister, apply after sun lotion, or calomine lotion.
AFFECTED TRAIN SERVICES
Trains are being slowed on some routes, owing to a risk of rails buckling in the heat, with revised schedules.
Passengers are advised to check their journeys in advance and carry water and sunscreen, with anyone feeling unwell further advised to seek help from a member of (train) staff.
High speed services may be subject to delays and some services cancelled, to protect track points in extreme temperatures.
First Great Western has announced there will be no direct services from Paddington to Bourne End/Henley today (Tues) due to the hot weather. Services to Bourne End/Henley will terminate at Maidenhead/Twyford, with connections available.
Affected services announced by Network Rail include a speed restriction today (Tues), from midday to 8pm, with no fast services between London Paddington to Bourne End and Henley-on-Thames.
Passengers travelling to Henley will need to change at Twyford and the 5.12pm, 6.12pm and 7.05pm services to Henley on Thames will terminate at Twyford.
Those travelling from Paddington to Bourne End will need to change at Maidenhead. The 4.42pm, 5.42pm and 6.42pm trains to Bourne End will terminate at Maidenhead.