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This plan is intended to provide generic response to adverse weather conditions including; cold, heatwave, flooding and snow/ice conditions which impact on the business continuity of the Trust (Patients and staff). This plan should be read in conjunction with departmental business continuity plans, which provide the standard responses to manage departmental service disruption.


Cold Weather

The winter period sees a significant rise in deaths and an increase in illness during cold periods. It is essential that staff are aware of the harm to health from cold conditions. There is an increase in cold related illness at relatively moderate mean outdoor temperatures (4-8 Celsius).


Heat Wave Response

Heat waves are forecast to increase in frequency in the coming years; with climate change impacting on weather conditions including heat waves where extreme heat results in increased risk to delivery of safe care to patients. During a heat wave, if temperatures remain abnormally high (over more than a couple of days) it can prove fatal. The main causes of illness and death during a heat wave are respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. It is recognised that there will be an increase in mortality during hot periods; specifically among people aged over 75 years. Timely preventative measures (as described in appendices C & D) can reduce attendances to A&E, admission and excess death rates related to heat.


Policy Details

Download: N/A
Compiled by: Claire O’Brien, Head of Emergency Planning and Resilience
Ratified by: Trust Executive Committee
Date Ratified: June 2021
Date Issued: June 2021
Review Date: December 2021
Target Audience: All staff
Contact name: Claire O’Brien, Head of Emergency Planning and Resilience


See also:

  • The National Cold Weather Plan (2020)
  • Local Business Continuity Plans (2020)
  • Internal Incident Plan (2020)
  • Flu Plan (2020)
  • Heat Wave Plan for England – PHE (2021)
  • Energy & Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (2015)
  • GOV.UK: Coronavirus