Hospital surgeries have made the decision to cancel surgeries due to “very high temperatures” after the Met Office issued its first red weather warning for the UK.
The rare red warning means the extreme weather could lead to “serious illness or danger to life” for people living in the affected parts of the country.
A Level 4 national emergency has also been issued as temperatures could soar past 40C next week which means fit and healthy people could fall ill and even die due to the extreme heat.
Joe Harrison, CEO of Milton Keynes University Hospital, said on Twitter: “We have taken the decision to stand down routine outpatient appointments & surgery on Monday & Tuesday because many of patients travelling to these appointments are frail & at increased risk, & due to the unpredictable nature of very high temperatures on demand for emergency care & on care environment.
“We will do all we can to keep wards & departments as cool as possible, but we know this will be a challenge given the very high outside temperature.
“We have solid plans & contingency plans in place & will keep social media channels & our website updated with any changing info.”
A national emergency is only meant to be declared when a heatwave is “so severe” or “prolonged” that its impacts extend beyond the health sector - which is currently under pressure due to soaring temperatures.
Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge said: “If people have vulnerable relatives or neighbours, now is the time to make sure they’re putting suitable measures in place to be able to cope with the heat because if the forecast is as we think it will be in the red warning area, then people’s lives are at risk.
“This is a very serious situation.”
He said there is an 80 per cent chance of the all-time UK temperature record being broken, and a 50 per cent chance of temperatures of 40C being reached somewhere in the UK.
“Most likely that would be within the red warning area for extreme heat,” said Mr Madge.
“Probably the most likely areas to look at would be north of London and up to Lincolnshire, inland.
“Somewhere like Peterborough, Grantham, Sandy, Stevenage, those sorts of areas, A1 corridor.”
He said that temperatures reaching 40C would be a “historic event”.