Heatwave will put lives at risk due to government failure to tackle social care and climate crises, say Greens

15 July 2022

  • Green Party says Cobra must urgently assess how vulnerable people are supported during extreme weather events

Responding to the news that the Met Office has issued a red extreme warming for the first time [1], Pallavi Devulapalli, Green Party Health and Social Care Spokesperson and an NHS GP in Norfolk, said:

“We know that the very high temperatures we are likely to see over the next few days could lead to an increase in life-threatening conditions such as heat stroke, heart attacks and strokes [2]. 

“With all ten ambulance services across England declaring a critical incident [3] it is clear that the people who need help may not have timely access to an ambulance. It seems likely that lives will be needlessly lost as a consequence.

“The crisis is caused by a decades-long failure to tackle the crisis in social care which in turn means that patients cannot be discharged from hospitals in a timely manner. Inadequate funding of social care has led to a failed market for care, with insufficient capacity, poor working conditions and chronic understaffing [4] - made worse by the loss of European workers since we left the EU. [5] 

“Government policy motivated by ideology rather than problem solving has left us with these multiple intersecting crises.”

Green Party Co-Leader Adrian Ramsay added:

“With our roads melting [6] and the UK Health Security Agency saying we could face power or water shortages, we are seeing the consequences of decades of inaction in the face of the climate emergency. 

“We need urgent action to ensure our infrastructure is resilient to extreme weather events. It goes without saying that we seek much more urgent reduction in CO2 emissions in order to avoid the worst effects of climate breakdown, but we’ve left this far too late already and the extreme weather is now built in. 

“Cobra must urgently assess how vulnerable people are supported during extreme weather events - not just heat-waves but also storms and flooding. It should also investigate immediately where our infrastructure and services are at risk during such severe weather.”

Notes

1

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-62177458

2

How hot weather kills: the rising public health dangers of extreme heat: https://www.bmj.com/content/378/bmj.o1741

3

https://nursingnotes.co.uk/news/clinical/every-single-ambulance-service-in-england-declares-critical-incident-status/

4

https://www.pharmatimes.com/news/nhs_leaders_voice_stark_staff_warning_1452202

5

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/recruitment-and-retention-in-adult-social-care-a-qualitative-study/recruitment-and-retention-in-adult-social-care-a-qualitative-study-accessible

6

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-coventry-warwickshire-62152863

7

https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/heatwave-weather-forecast-national-emergency-b2121528.html






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