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									             Briefing on Devon Primary Care Trust
                      Heatwave Plan 2007

1.    Background

1.1   In July 2004 the Department of Health issued the first Heatwave Plan for
      England: Protecting Health and Reducing Harm from Extreme Heat and Heat
      waves (DOH, 2004). This Plan was published in response to the climate
      changes nationally and internationally indicating that heatwaves are likely to
      become a more common occurrence in England.

1.2   On 14 May 2007, an updated version of the heatwave plan was issued by the
      Department of Health as part of raising public and professional awareness
      (Heatwave Plan 2007). The 2007 heatwave plan has been developed to offer
      greater clarity of the alert levels; an emphasis on long-term planning; the creation
      of ‘cool rooms’ in residential and care homes and a key recommendation that
      hospitals are able to maintain their temperatures below 26oC.

2.    Heat-Health Watch Alert Level System

2.1   The ‘Heat-Health Watch’ system operates from 1st June – 15th September 2007.
      There are four levels of response, based on the threshold day and night-time
      temperature as defined by the Met Office. These vary from region to region, but
      for the South West the threshold temperatures are 30oC (daytime) and 15oC
      (night time).

      LEVEL 1:       Summer preparedness and long-term planning

      LEVEL 2:       Alert and readiness (triggered by the Met Office)

      LEVEL 3:       Heatwave action

      LEVEL 4:       Emergency

3.    Requirements of the Primary Care Trust

3.1   Devon Primary Care Trust is required to develop a Heatwave Plan with detailed
      actions required under each alert level phase. The specific actions are detailed
      within the Heatwave Plan.

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3.2   The Plan builds on the previous Primary Care Trusts Heatwave Plan’s. The core
      elements of the plan are basically unchanged:

      •   a ‘Heat-Health watch’ system operating from 1st June to 15th September
          based on Met Office forecasts, which will trigger levels of response from the
          Department of Health and other bodies;

      •   advice and information issued by the Department of Health direct to the
          public and to health and social care professionals,

      •   additional help and support from the voluntary sector, families and others to
          care for those most at risk;

      •   using the media to get advice to people quickly, both before and during a

3.3   The NHS has published a leaflet, ‘A guide to looking after yourself and others
      during hot weather.’ It sets out how to prevent heatstroke with practical ways of
      staying cool and hydrated. The leaflets are being distributed by post direct to the
      following recipients:

      •   GP practices

      •   Pharmacies

      •   Citizens Advice Bureau

      •   NHS Direct call centres

      •   Hospitals

      •   Health Promotion Units

      •   Care Homes and some voluntary sector organisations

4.    The Current Situation

4.1   The Public Health Team (Health Protection) will monitor the Met Office
      website on a daily basis and will trigger an alert cascade to those individuals on
      the alert cascade list. The individuals then have responsibility to forward
      identified to key individuals and establishments including Community Hospitals,
      Care Homes, health and social care professionals and the public particualrly
      targeting those individuals at risk.

4.2   The Primary Care Trust is also in the process of negotiating with the Police to
      utilise their Community Messaging Service to notify Neighbourhood Watch
      Scheme Co-ordinators who could have a valuable role in improving coverage
      of those vulnerable adults who are isolated in the community.

4.2   An action plan has been developed and the Plan while operational now will be
      fully completed by Wednesday 13th June as I am awaiting clarification from a

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             an individual from Devon County Council who are on annual leave but have
             agreed a fall back contact in case required so there is no risk the cascade will not
             work. I am also awaiting clarification from the Police to utilise the neighbourhood
             watch co-ordinators.

      5. Action Plan

No.           Issue                         Task                     Name           By        Status

1.     Who is responsible     Speak to Provider to agree key      Steve         20/05/07 Achieved
       for production and     tasks and responsibilities          Brown
       delivery of the Plan
2.     Develop draft          Review former PCT Heatwave          Steve         28/05/07 Achieved
       Heatwave plan          plans and national plan and         Brown
3.     Develop Alert          Obtain key contact details of the   Steve         31/05/07 Awaiting
       Cascade list           individuals within the PCT and      Brown                  one
                              DCC who need to receive the                                response
4.     Test Alert Cascade     Send a cascade alert to all those   Steve         04/06/07 Achieved
                              PCT staff on the list to check      Brown
5.     Voluntary sector       Speak to the CVS to identify the    Steve         04/06/07 Achieved
       cascade                best way to alert the local         Brown
                              voluntary sector
6.     Contacting             Investigate utilising               Mike          04/06/07 Achieved
       vulnerable             neighbourhood watch as              Sarsfield
       individuals who live   possible mechanism
       at home
7.     Media contacts         Liaise with the Communications      Steve         01/06/07 Achieved
                              team to develop communication       Brown/
                              strategy                            Claire

      Steven Brown
      Interim Assistant Director of Public Health

      Heatwave Briefing June 2007.doc/G: Drive 12th June

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