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Navigating Rising Temperatures with Enhanced Infection Prevention Measures

In recent years, climate change has increasingly left its mark on the global stage, with the UK experiencing its tangible impacts through hotter, drier summers and warmer, wetter winters.

The unprecedented heatwave of July 2022 - marked by the Met Office's first ever Red Warning, Level 4 heat alert - has highlighted the urgent need for resilience against extreme weather conditions.

Temperatures soared to 40.2° C, leading to significant fires and the busiest day for the Fire Brigade since World War II. This event is a clear sign of our climate's changing patterns and the desperate problems it creates.The healthcare sector faces more urgent challenges from heat issues than many other services, especially in hospitals and care homes.


The healthcare sector faces more urgent challenges from heat issues than many other services, especially in hospitals and care homes.

This temperature difference is primarily caused by the absorption and retention of heat by buildings, roads, and other infrastructure, as well as by the emission of heat from vehicles, industry, and air conditioning systems.

The UHI effect makes facilities in the centre of London especially vulnerable to high temperatures. Hospitals in areas like Southwark, Tower Hamlets, and Kensington are particularly at risk.

Home to major facilities including the Maudsley Hospital, Mile End Hospital, and the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, challenges caused by higher temperatures include…

  • Increased patient admissions. Higher temperatures can exacerbate health issues such as heatstroke, as well as cardiovascular and respiratory conditions, leading to a surge in patient admissions during warmer periods. This can strain hospital resources and staff, potentially overwhelming healthcare services.
  • Vulnerable population impact. These areas often have a significant number of vulnerable individuals, including the elderly, young children, and those with pre-existing health conditions, who are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses. Hospitals may see an increase in the demand for emergency care and longer-term treatments for these populations.
  • Infrastructure strain. Hospital buildings in these urban areas may not have been designed with the current and future intensity of UHI effects in mind. Increased indoor temperatures can affect the comfort and safety of both patients and staff, necessitating additional cooling measures which can be costly and energy intensive.
  • Infection control challenges. Warmer temperatures can influence the proliferation of bacteria and viruses, potentially increasing the risk of infections within hospital settings. This would require enhanced infection prevention and control measures to safeguard patient and staff health.
  • Operational disruptions. Extreme heat events exacerbated by the UHI effect could lead to operational challenges, such as power outages affecting cooling systems or transportation disruptions impacting staff and supply chains.

This evolving climate landscape brings with it not just the challenge of managing heat but also the potential for heightened infection risks.

Hotter temperatures can exacerbate the spread of infectious diseases, putting an additional strain on healthcare systems already navigating the complexities of infection prevention and control. Vulnerable populations, including the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions, are particularly at risk.

Amid these challenges, the role of innovative infection control solutions becomes more critical than ever. This is where DDC Dolphin leads the way, providing cutting-edge technology that reduces the dangers of infection, even when heat-related challenges are rising.

Our suite of products provides healthcare facilities with the tools they need to maintain the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene, including…

Implementing robust infection prevention measures is crucial, not just for the safety and well-being of patients and staff but also for ensuring operational continuity during extreme weather events.

Our technologies are designed to be efficient and effective, reducing the burden on healthcare systems and enabling them to focus on what they do best: providing care.

Moreover, DDC Dolphin's commitment to innovation means that we're continuously exploring new ways to enhance our solutions, ensuring they remain effective against a backdrop of evolving environmental challenges. Our focus on sustainability aligns with the broader need for healthcare facilities to adapt to climate change, not just in terms of infrastructure but also in operational practices.

Looking ahead, healthcare facilities must include sophisticated infection control solutions in their plans for resilience.

Recent events have taught us the value of readiness for unforeseen circumstances, and the healthcare sector must be alert and responsive. By partnering with DDC Dolphin, facilities can ensure they are equipped to face the dual challenges of heat risks and infection control, protecting the health and well-being of both patients and staff.

As the potential for a climate crisis unfolds, the healthcare sector must adapt to the new realities of increased heat risks and their potential impact on infection rates. DDC Dolphin is ready to support this journey, providing innovative solutions that offer peace of mind in uncertain times.

Together, we can navigate the challenges ahead, ensuring that our healthcare facilities remain safe for all who rely on them.


Learn More About Our Sustainability Commitments Here



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