Hot weather prompts amber alert for Derby and Derbyshire this week – help keep vulnerable people safe

The UK Health Security Agency has issued an Amber Heat-Health Alert across the East Midlands, including Derby and Derbyshire, until Sunday with temperatures remaining high through the weekend.

This weather is expected to pose particular challenges for vulnerable people or those who are already unwell, with the risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke increasing for children, the elderly and people with long-term health conditions (like diabetes or heart problems). Babies, children and the elderly are also more at risk of dehydration which can become serious if not treated.

For those in high-risk groups, support from friends, family and neighbours may be critical for their safety. Simply checking in on your neighbours could make a big difference to their wellbeing and could help save lives.

Tips for coping in hot weather

  • Look out for those who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated – older people, those with underlying health conditions and those who live alone are particularly at risk
  • Stay cool indoors – many of us will need to stay safe at home this summer so know how to keep your home cool
  • Close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors
  • When outdoors, use cool spaces considerately, keep your distance in line with social distancing guidelines
  • Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol
  • Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals
  • Try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm
  • Walk in the shade, apply sunscreen regularly and wear a wide brimmed hat, if you have to go out in the heat
  • Avoid exercising in the hottest parts of the day
  • Make sure you take water with you, if you are travelling
  • If you are going into open water to cool down, take care and follow local safety advice

When to get help

Heat exhaustion is not usually serious if you can cool down within 30 minutes. If it turns into heatstroke, it needs to be treated as an emergency. Ring 999 if you or someone else have any signs of heatstroke.

If you are dehydrated, being sick or have diarrhoea and are losing too much fluid, you need to put back the sugar, salts and minerals that your body has lost. Your pharmacist can recommend oral rehydration sachets. If your symptoms do not get better with treatment, ring 111 or seek advice from your GP.

Your local pharmacist can also provide health advice for rashes, sunburn, bites and hay fever. You don’t need an appointment, and they can even provide you with the medicines at the same time.

The NHS 111 service is available 24/7 to provide advice, treatment and care. Just ring 111 or visit, and the service will provide advice and refer you to another service if you need it.

For more information, check out our Stay Well in the Sun page.