Press release – 18 July 2016
Self-care means stay hydrated this summer
Local health and care organisations are launching a summer hydration campaign across Herefordshire to inform people about the importance of staying hydrated and consuming the right amount of fluids to stay healthy.
The launch of this year’s hydration campaign comes on the same day the Met Office issued a heatwave warning with high temperatures expected between now and Thursday, with the hottest spell due tomorrow (Tuesday, July 19) afternoon.
Each year people are admitted to hospitals across Herefordshire with symptoms of sickness and diarrhoea, severe headaches, and confusion, often due to not drinking enough fluid during warmer weather.
Even temperatures above twenty degrees can see vulnerable people, such as children and the elderly, becoming dehydrated and being admitted to hospital.
Wye Valley NHS Trust and Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (HCCG) are working together to spread the message across the county, in leisure centres, libraries, GP surgeries, and by professionals working in local hospitals, care centres and visiting people in the community.
Dr Dominic Horne, GP and Clinical Vice Chair at Herefordshire CCG said: “There are plenty of things people can do to stay hydrated. For example, remember to drink more fluids during warmer weather or when exercising, eat more fresh fruit and vegetables and limit coffee and alcohol intake as they can dehydrate you. On average you need approximately eight (200ml) glasses of water a day.
“Every year people become seriously unwell as a result of dehydration. Vulnerable groups such as the elderly, babies, children and people with long term health conditions or in care are most at risk. People in these circumstances need to make a conscious effort to drink more than usual, even if they do not feel thirsty.
“For those that are not able to look after themselves, it’s important that friends, family and carers, help them to have access to more fluids”.
Jo Clutterbuck, Wye Valley NHS Trust Dietician, said: “It’s important for patients to stay hydrated in hospital and also when they return home to help with their recovery.
“Hydration in hospital is everyone’s responsibility and we are encouraging all our staff and visitors to encourage vulnerable people to drink more.
“We have a number of measures in place in our hospitals to monitor and encourage patients to drink plenty of fluid during their hospital admission, including a method for highlighting who is at risk of dehydration, different cups/glasses for those who struggle to drink and individual patient fluid balance charts to monitor fluid intake.
“If you become dehydrated drink plenty of fluids and if you're finding it hard to keep water down because you're vomiting or have diarrhoea, try drinking small amounts more frequently.
“If you suspect that someone is severely dehydrated, you should seek medical attention immediately. They may need to be admitted to hospital for urgent treatment, particularly, babies, children and elderly people”.
Symptoms of dehydration include:
- Thirsty and dry mouth
- Dizziness and feeling light headed when standing
- Muscle cramps
- Impaired vision and concentration
- Weakness and fatigue
Hints and tips to stay hydrated
- Keep a drinks bottle handy to encourage you to drink wherever and whenever
- Remember to drink more when you exercise or spend time in hot environments
- Set reminders on your phone, watch or email to have a drink regularly
- Add a slice of lemon, lime and/or basil to your water to give it some extra flavour
- Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables and water rich foods.
To find out more about staying hydrated visit NHS Choices website www.nhs.uk (Health AZ, dehydration).
Notes to Editors WVT:
- Wye Valley NHS Trust is a provider of health services across Herefordshire and beyond. The Trust exists to improve the wellbeing, independence and health of the people we serve.
- By working closely with our partners, we can make good our promise to deliver a quality of care we would want for ourselves, our families and our friends.
- With an estimated annual turnover of around £180 million, we employ around 3,000 staff. We aim to build new relationships between our staff, patients, service users and their carers with the wider community.
For further information please contact:
John Burnett, Communication and Engagement Manager, Wye Valley NHS Trust: 01432 372928 or Fiona Gurney, Communications Officer 01432 355444 ext. 5105.