A two-week heatwave forecast to finally breathe some life into summer in the UK has led to the year’s first heat health alert covering Essex.

The UK Health Security Agency has issued a yellow heat health alert for the East of England, covering Essex, with experts warning of an "increased risk to vulnerable people".

Heat-health alerts have been issued since 2004 with the service designed to help healthcare professionals manage through periods of extreme temperature.

This comes as weather maps from WX Charts, using Met Office data, show a North African plume is set to bring a 29C heatwave to the UK next week, lasting 14 days.

The warning, in place from 8am on Monday until 5pm on Thursday, means there is potential for significant impacts to be observed across the health and social care sector due to the high temperatures with over-65s and those with health conditions most at risk.

Increased demand for remote healthcare services is also likely with an impact on ability of services to be delivered due to heat effects on the workforce possible.

Temperatures reach a cool 19C in south Essex today, but are set to soar next week reaching highs of 27C in some parts on Tuesday.

Neil Armstrong is a Met Office chief forecaster. He said: “After a brief, less settled, interlude on Friday and Saturday, fine conditions will return by Sunday and into next week.  For much of the UK this will be accompanied by a boost in temperatures with many places reaching the mid-20°Cs by the middle of next week. 

"Some central and southern areas are likely to see temperatures approaching the values needed for heatwave conditions. Heatwave conditions need to remain in situ for three consecutive days, and by the middle of next week it is possible that some parts of the UK could be reaching heatwave thresholds.

“However, whether or not everyone experiences heatwave thresholds, the majority of the UK will experience the finest conditions and highest temperatures so far this year.”