Train cancellations and hospital preparations...Suffolk’s hottest day is here

Stacey Howlett with her grandson Teddy Knight enjoying the heatwave Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Stacey Howlett with her grandson Teddy Knight enjoying the heatwave Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

With Suffolk and Essex both poised to break existing hot weather records, here’s what to expect on the hottest day of the year so far.

Staff, volunteers and patients at St Elizabeth Hospice were given free ice cream today by local busi

Staff, volunteers and patients at St Elizabeth Hospice were given free ice cream today by local business Roberto Ices Picture: ST ELIZABETH HOSPICE - Credit: ST ELIZABETH HOSPICE

The preparations come as the region is set to endure 37C sunshine during peak hours in the afternoon, making it the hottest day in Essex history and coming agonisingly close to Suffolk's record of 37.3C.

Trains

Amid fears that train tracks could bend and buckle from the high temperatures, less than half of Greater Anglia's scheduled services will be in operation today.

The operator has warned users not to travel "unless absolutely necessary", while assuring passengers air conditioning will be in use 20minutes before service begins in an effort to keep carriages cool.

Staff at West Suffolk Hospital with free ice lollies handed to staff and patients Picture: WEST SUFF

Staff at West Suffolk Hospital with free ice lollies handed to staff and patients Picture: WEST SUFFOLK NHS FOUNDATION TRUST - Credit: WEST SUFFOLK NHS FOUNDATION TRUST


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Martin Moran, Greater Anglia commercial and customer service director, said: "We're very sorry for the inconvenience caused to customers by this reduced service.

"It's impossible to run our usual services if trains have to go at such a reduced speed, so we are asking people not to travel unless absolutely necessary."

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Hospitals

Meanwhile, hospitals across the region have been preparing for the higher temperatures, with Ipswich, Colchester and West Suffolk hospitals all planning to hand out ice lollies and refreshments in an effort to cool patients and staff.

A spokesman for Ipswich and Colchester Hospitals said: "We have been working with all our teams across the hospitals to make sure that patients are kept safe in the hot weather," she said.

"If anyone is really overwhelmed they can go to a cool area.

"There is a lot of really helpful advice about being safe in the sun that we hope people will take.

"Because we are an emergency hospital we always plan what to do when there us a large surge in demand.

"To us this is business as usual. We monitor everything hour by hour."

Similar scenes were seen at St Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich yesterday, where staff, volunteers and patients were given free ice cream from local business Roberto Ices.

A St Elizabeth Hospice spokesman said: "We would like say a special thank you to Roberto Ices for the time out of their busy day to provide free ice creams to our patients.

"The ice creams were much appreciated by hospice patients on our Inpatient Unit and our day care, as well as staff and volunteers who a enjoyed a cold snack in return for a donation to the hospice."

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