LEIGHTON Hospital is dealing with a surge in demand as patients are becoming unwell in the heatwave.

Cheshire has basked in glorious sunshine over the past two months – but now the Crewe-based hospital is seeing more patients come through its doors with issues caused by the heat.

Chris Oliver is chief operating officer at Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Leighton along with Victoria Infirmary, in Northwich, and Elmhurst, in Winsford.

“Extended periods of hot weather can increase the health risks to vulnerable patients and we have seen an increase in related attendances at Leighton Hospital over recent weeks,” he said.

“We tend to see a number of people with dehydration, overheating – which makes problems worse for those who already have heart or breathing problems – heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

“A heatwave can affect anyone, but there are people who are more vulnerable. These include the elderly, babies and young children, and those with a serious chronic condition.

“We have been working closely with our healthcare partners to ensure that services continue to run smoothly during this period and have a number of robust plans in place to deal with additional demand.”

The trust is now asking residents to support the hospital by looking after themselves by drinking plenty of water to reduce the risk of illness and avoid going out in the hottest part of the day between 11am and 3pm – or stay in the shade.

Residents are also asked to look after others who might be at risk in the heatwave – for example, regularly checking on elderly neighbours.

“NHS staff across the region are working very hard in this heat to ensure that patients’ needs continue to be met,” Mr Oliver added.

“At our hospitals, this has included regularly providing all of our patient areas with chilled bottles of water. I’d therefore like to thank our colleagues for their ongoing care and compassion.”

For more information and advice, visit nhs.uk/heatwave