Health chiefs issue snow warning

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The North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust is asking residents across the North West to take care as heavy snow is forecast from today and is expected to continue over the weekend, with an amber warning from the Met Office.

Derek Cartwright, Director of Operations, said: “Severe weather has a huge impact on the service as we, like all other road users, have to negotiate the hazardous driving conditions. There is always an increase in the number of road traffic collisions and falls and therefore I ask the public only take necessary journeys. If you do need to travel, make sure you are prepared for extended journey times.”
“We would also ask that the public be aware of any vulnerable neighbours and ensure they are not adversely affected. Wrap up warm, wear sensible shoes and take care while walking or driving. Many accidents in these conditions are largely avoidable, such as slips, trips and falls and prevention is better than the cure in these circumstances. Elderly and vulnerable people, even in their own homes, can be at risk of hypothermia so please look out for your relatives, friends and neighbours. Helping people with essential shopping during adverse weather can prevent them falling and sustaining significant injuries in slippery conditions.”

He went on: “We always ask the public to think before dialling 999, but people should not be afraid to ring us if they believe they need emergency assistance.

“However, we want to remind everyone that ambulance services are not there simply to transport people to a healthcare centre or hospital – our excellent staff are specially trained in dealing with trauma and life-threatening cases and this is where their expertise should be focused on. Heart attacks, strokes and other potentially life-threatening incidents cannot wait, we need to get to these people as quickly as possible without having to divert from patients that can be easily treated elsewhere.

“If anyone is unsure about the treatment they need, dial 111, trained staff can offer advice on where is the best treatment centre for you.”