A TOP Southampton doctor has urged people to check on elderly neighbours and residents as a heatwave continues to bask Hampshire in sunshine.

Dr Diana Hulbert, who is a consultant in emergency medicine at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, said recent hot conditions have led to a steady rise in the number of older people requiring admission to hospital.

She spoke out following Met Office warning that the heatwave across the south could continue until the middle of August, with temperatures of up to 27C expected across the county next week.

Dr Hulbert said: "Last weekend we saw and needed to admit a large number of frail older people purely as a result of dehydration and that follows a steady rise we have seen developing in recent weeks.

"The issue is that temperatures look set to remain very high in the south in the coming weeks and we are anticipating more of the same.

"Anything people can do to help their frail and elderly relatives and neighbours will help, such as checking on them daily, ensuring they remain cool and well hydrated and have people to contact nearby if they begin to feel unwell."

Dr Hulbert said that although elderly people are among the most at risk during sustained hot weather, staff in the emergency department are also treating dehydration in a range of ages as a result of too long in the sun.

She added: "Alongside the elderly, we are seeing many people of a variety of ages who either spend all day working outside during the week or at their leisure over the weekend.

"Again, this is leading mainly to dehydration but also exhaustion and problems can range from faints and falls to acute kidney injury, while for those with existing medical conditions it can exacerbate their symptoms."

According to weather experts, the sun will shine on Hampshire all week with temperatures hanging around the 27C mark.

As of Wednesday, this heatwave has seen just 1.85in (47mm) of rain, making it the driest start to summer in modern records – which date back to 1961 – followed by 2013 with 2.3in (59mm) of rain.