Data on injuries related to warmer days was collected for England only, and suggests that hotter days are leading to more accidents and exacerbating existing health conditions.
The ONS said previous research has linked heatwaves to impacts on respiratory conditions, maternal and infant health, violent behaviour and suicide.
Researchers say links between mental health and climate change are of “growing concern”, with the risk of death for patients with mental illness increasing by around 5 per cent for every extra 1 degree of temperature increase.
This is attributable to several different factors, including people with certain mental health conditions being less able to take care of themselves in extreme weather.
In 2016, the newly-formed UK Health Alliance on Climate Change said the health service is unprepared for dealing with the fallout of extreme weather such as heatstroke, with members of the alliance urging ministers not to “wait for disaster” before acting.
The NHS may also be under threat from flooding, as climate change looks set to increase the severity and frequency of flood events.
A recent report by think tank Bright Blue found that NHS services have been impacted by flooding a number of times since 2007.
In July 2021, a major incident was declared after two hospitals in London were unable to operate A&E services following flash flooding.
The government’s own advisers on the Climate Change Committee have repeatedly warned the UK is lagging behind on adaptive measures for dealing with risks posed by climate change – particularly with regards to increased temperatures and the frequency of flooding.
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