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UKHSA spells out death toll from heatwave


The sweltering heatwave this summer may have resulted in 3,000 more deaths than usual, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

The UK endured record high temperatures of 40C this summer, England and Wales saw a sharpest rise in since 2004.

Most who died were people over 65 and many happened during the hottest days towards the end of July.

Isabel Oliver, chief scientific officer at the UKHSA, said: “These estimates show clearly that high temperatures can lead to premature death for those who are vulnerable. A warming climate means we must adapt to living safely with hotter summers in the future.”

There were five heatwaves between June and August 2022 – defined as days when the average temperature is greater than 20°C in central England.

According to the BBC, during those periods, there were 3,271 excess deaths – 6.2% above the five-year average – out of a total of 56,303 deaths in England and Wales.

More than 2,800 were over 65.

The country has been warned to expect hotter summers and more unpredictable weather overall in the future.

The UK recorded temperatures of over 40C (104F) for the first time between 17 and 20 July.