Advice on supporting the homeless during the heatwave

Westminster City Council has issued advice on supporting the homeless during the heatwave. This advice falls within their Severe Weather Emergency Protocol Guidance and involves collaboration between outreach teams, accommodation and day centres.

The risks to homeless people living on the streets is severe in a heatwave:

  • Heat exhaustion, dehydration and serious skin damage;
  • Impact on respiratory and cardiac systems;
  • Heat cramps caused by dehydration;
  • Heat rashes;
  • Heat exhaustion and syncope, resulting in malaise, vomiting and circulatory collapse as well as dizziness and fainting;
  • Heat stroke is the most serious, when the body’s thermo-regulation mechanism fails. This is a medical emergency, with symptoms of confusion, disorientation, convulsions and unconsciousness. It can result in cell death, organ failure, brain damage or death.

If you would like to support someone living on the street who you think is in danger, you can do this by buying them:

  • Still water for them, and their pets if they have any;
  • Sunscreen;
  • Electrolytes, for example Dioralyte Sachets, to replace lost salts.

If you are worried about someone on the street, you call the Marble Arch Street Team on 07825 750 777. They are first aid trained and can carry out a welfare check, taking appropriate action.

The Passage Day Centre, Carlisle Place, London SW1P 1NL, is offering additional daytime help for homeless people in the heatwave and has access to a range of specialist health services.

If you have immediate concerns about a person living on the street in the heatwave and you think their health is in serious danger, please call 999.