More than 2,000 extra people died during this summer’s heatwaves, the highest since a new heatwave plan was introduced in 2004, latest figures show.
During the five heat periods of this year’s extraordinarily hot summer, the estimated total excess deaths, excluding those from COVID-19, reached 2,803 for those aged 65 and over.
This is the highest excess mortality figure during heat periods observed since the introduction of the Heatwave plan for England in 2004, according to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).
In July, some places in England recorded temperatures of over 40C for the first time in recorded history, prompting the UKHSA to issue its first-ever Level 4 Heat Health Alert.
“These estimates show clearly that high temperatures can lead to premature death for those who are vulnerable,” UKHSA chief scientific officer Isabel Oliver said.
“Higher excess deaths occurred during the hottest days this year and a warming climate means we must adapt to living safely with hotter summers in the future.”
Climate breakdown made the July heatwave at least ten times more likely, a rapid analysis by leading climate scientists found.