A SOUTHAMPTON doctor is urging residents to drink three litres of water a day as the number of patients admitted to hospital due to dehydration and kidney issues has risen in the past weeks.

Bhaskar Somani, a consultant urological surgeon at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, said his team has seen an increase in patients with renal colic and kidney stones due to dehydration.

He is now calling for a radical change towards drinking water as the country is set to remain sweltering in extreme hot weather until mid-August.

He said: "We need to draw attention to why attitudes towards hydration remain poor and how we can bring about a radical culture change to address it.

"Emergency departments are seeing large numbers of elderly patients who are dehydrated, along with outdoor workers who are battling the heat during the hottest parts of the day – and many of the problems tie in with poor fluid intake."

He said attitudes towards water consumption remain poor even among those at higher risk of health problems.

This follows a study of 162 patients who received treatment for kidney stones – for which poor hydration is a significant risk factor – at Southampton General Hospital.

The research found less than a third (28%) increased their water intake despite receiving advice after treatment on the need to drink 2.5 to three litres a day.

Almost a quarter (22%) said the reason for avoiding water was because they did not like the taste, while 26% blamed their habit and 10% said they only drank when thirsty.

Dr Somani said:"It clearly concerns me that patients who have suffered with the pain and discomfort of kidney stones are not keen to take this simple step to help improve their health.

“It then begs the question that, if those are the views of people in a high risk group, what is the feeling among those who have no current health risks which could be aided by better hydration.

"We should take this opportunity to remind people that consumption of three litres of water a day is a small price to pay to help maintain and improve your health."

Dr Somani's warning comes after an amber heat health watch warning has been issued for parts of England this week.