The UK's first extreme weather warning has been issued for Wiltshire and the South West as scorching temperatures continue.

And the heatwave, which has seen the mercury in the town climb past 30C, has seen a rise in the number of people visiting A&E at GWH with sunburn, heat exhaustion and sore throats.

Forecasters say the continental July conditions will last until at least Thursday, with wall-to-wall sunshine and highs of 29C likely today.

The new Met Office warning also covers South Wales, the West Midlands, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

In the most extreme circumstances, prolonged spells of heat can cause illness and even death.

GWH tweeted yesterday afternoon: "Our Urgent Treatment Centre is seeing more people turning up with sunburns, heat exhaustion and sore throats. As the hot spell of weather is expected to last for the rest of the week, we want to remind people to keep cool and avoid heat-related health risks.

"If you are unwell due to the heat or if you are unsure what to do, please visit or call 111 first. If NHS 111 decides that you should attend the UTC, they can get you a timed arrival slot and you can stay at home until then."

Extreme heat warnings were unveiled by the Met Office last month and work in a similar way to existing weather warnings.

The historic first for the meteorological authority came about due to climate change. Experts suggest these conditions may be considered normal by 2050.

Dr Will Lang from the Met Office said: “We know that the impacts of climate change are resulting in an increase in the frequency and severity of extreme heat events. 

“The extreme heat warning joins our other warnings to ensure that no matter what the weather conditions, we at the Met Office have a method of communicating these impacts to the public in as efficient a way as possible. 

“Extreme heat has obvious potential consequences health in the UK, especially for vulnerable groups, but continued impacts around transport infrastructure, energy consumption and coastal areas will also inform when extreme heat warnings are issued.”

The UK State of the Climate report shows that warm spells have more than doubled in length from 5.3 days in 1961-90 to over 13 days in 2008-2017.

According to Public Health England figures, 2,256 excess deaths were reported across the country during last summer’s heatwaves – the highest since records began.