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Health officials issue heatwave advice

Public Health Wales is reminding people take care in the sun as forecasters predict very hot weather for the next few days.

It says hot weather can cause heat exhaustion or heat stroke, which is more serious, as well as the risk of sunburn.

Public Health Wales is reminding people take care in the sun. Credit: PA

We know that the weather is forecast to be very hot over the next few days, and we want people to be careful that they don’t ruin their enjoyment of the sun by becoming unwell as a result of the outside temperatures.

By taking some simple steps to protect themselves and others, everyone can enjoy the sunshine while staying safe and well.

– Huw Brunt, Public Health Wales

People planning to be outside while the weather is hot are advised to:

  • Use sunscreen or sun block to reduce the risk of sunburn
  • Cover up with loose fitting clothes
  • Wear a hat to protect the head and sunglasses to protect the eyes
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid direct sunlight between 12pm and 3pm (the hottest part of the day)

"It is also a good idea to check on elderly relatives, friends or neighbours who may be more vulnerable to the effects of the heat.

It’s also important to take care with children – you should always make sure they are wearing a high factor suncream and stay in the shade as much as possible.

The usual symptoms of heat exhaustion – which can become heat stroke if left untreated – include a headache, high temperature, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and muscle cramps.

If you are concerned that you or someone else has these symptoms, you should contact your GP or NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47."

– Huw Brunt, Public Health Wales

£7.6m for young people's mental health services

Picture posed by model. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

The Welsh Government says an extra £7.6m will be invested annually in child and adolescent mental health services in Wales to make sure young people receive the right treatment at the right time

£2.7m will support the NHS-led service change and development of CAMHS, which was launched earlier this year.

It will also support specialist services, ensuring young people are assessed when they present in crisis at an A&E department or are arrested under s136 of the Mental Health Act 1983.

A further £1.1m will be invested to support the development of psychological therapies for children and young people across Wales.

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Reservoir warning in the heatwave

With a heat wave approaching and more and more of us looking to enjoy the outdoors, Dwr Cymru Welsh Water is reminding people of the dangers of swimming in reservoirs and open water.

Llyn Cwellyn reservoir, near Rhyd Ddu in north Wales. Credit: PA

Welsh Water owns and maintains more than 80 reservoirs across Wales and although visitors are welcomed to these recreational sites, they should not swim in the reservoirs as it is extremely dangerous and can prove fatal.

It says the tragic deaths of two people at reservoirs in Brecon Beacons reservoirs (Ponsticill and Cantref) over the same weekend in 2013 are a reminder of the dangers presented by swimming in reservoirs.

"While reservoirs might seem like a great place to cool off, they are full of hidden dangers with freezing cold water and strong currents."

– Ian Christie, Director of Water Services
  • Automatic equipment located under the surface of the water, which can sometimes operate without obvious warning
  • Very cold and deep water that can cause even strong swimmers to find themselves in difficulty
  • Most reservoirs are in remote locations, with little or no mobile phone reception, so the chance of rescue is greatly reduced

There were signs everywhere but we ignored them. As a 15 year old, you just think you are invincible and that it wouldn’t happen to me or any of us.

It could have been any one of us, or more than one of us. I want to do all I can to make sure people realise that no matter how beautiful the reservoirs look, the reality is they are very dangerous.

– Lauren Jennings, lost one of her best freinds

£10m to improve care for major health conditions

Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

£10m is to be invested to improve NHS services for major health conditions like cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

The Welsh Government says it will also improve liver, critical care, neurological, respiratory, end-of-life care and mental health services across Wales.

  • £1m will be invested in the cancer delivery plan to support projects to improve outcomes for people with lung cancer.
  • £1m for diabetes will go towards improving self management of the condition.
  • The respiratory implementation group, which supports the respiratory delivery plan, will be investing £1m to reduce variation in prescribing.
  • £1m for end-of-life care will be focused on hospices at home.
  • £1.2m of the £2m for neurological and stroke care will be invested in neuro-rehabilitation services.
  • £1m allocated to the mental health delivery plan will form part of a £3m package to improve access to evidence based psychological therapies and talking treatments for adults, children and young people

While we have seen good progress to date and while our NHS already continues to deliver excellent healthcare, I want the health service to use this funding to maintain focus on these key plans and deliver even more improvements in patient care and outcomes.

– Vaughan Gething AM, Deputy Health Minister

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Welsh NHS 'struggling' to meet orthopaedic demand

Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

A report by the Auditor General for Wales says orthopaedic services have become more efficient in the past decade but NHS Wales is not well placed to meet future demand.

It says that's because whilst there has been a focus on securing immediate reductions in waiting times, less attention has been paid to developing more sustainable, long-term solutions to meet demand.

It says demand for orthopaedic treatment has increased significantly over the last decade for reasons including the ageing population, growing levels of obesity and advancements in clinical practice as well as increased patient expectations.

It goes on to say despite improvements in efficiency, NHS Wales is struggling to meet the demand placed on it from an increasing rate of GP referrals.

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