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Heatwave Plan In Place At Dorset County Hospital

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12:17pm 13th July 2013

Dorset County Hospital's ready for an influx of sun and heat related cases as tempeatures rise.

The A & E department is expected to be particularly busy and we're being asked only to go there in a genuine emergency.

Head of Risk management at the hospital , Jonathan Webb, has issued this statement to staff, which he is happy for Wessex FM to release publicly:


'The hospital has an Emergency & Resilience Group which met yesterday and a number of plans are in place for the weekend.

The hospital has air cooling plant in some locations, but due to the time it was built these are not generally in ward areas.

The priority is to ensure that patients who are in hospital are kept as cool as possible. Nursing and medical staff will be watching for any signs of dehydration.

Patients who are being discharged from hospital will receive advice about keeping cool and hydrated.

Staff safety is very important and visitors may see some staff wearing theatre clothing rather than the usual hospital uniforms - to help them keep cooler. Hospital Managers are visiting each ward to support staff.

Patients may see fans in use in some areas of wards. This practice is normally discouraged as part of the hospital's infection prevention and control strategy, but the Infection Control team have reviewed the proposed locations for fans and feel that the risk can be managed.

The Emergency Department is expected to be very busy and the public are requested to only attend the department if the problem is an emergency. Keeping cool and hydrated and ensuring that children are protected from potential heat exhaustion will reduce the need for attending hospital'.

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