Yorkshire Ambulance Service prepares for cold snap

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Ambulance bosses are asking people only to dial 999 in an emergency as they prepare for a rise in call-outs caused by cold weather.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service is expecting an increase in calls from people with breathing difficulties and injuries from trips on icy pavements during cold weather over the next few days.

People are asked to stock up on medicines and seek help from their GP, pharmacist, the non-emergency 111 helpline and NHS walk-in centres.

Patients are also warned that ambulances might take longer to respond because of hazardous driving conditions.

Dr David Macklin, executive director of operations at the ambulance service, said: “I would ask members of the public to stop and think before they dial 999 and only call for an ambulance in an emergency when it is obvious that you or another person has a serious or life-threatening illness or injury and needs time-critical help.

“I certainly don’t want to deter people from calling us in serious cases such as heart attack, breathing difficulties or stroke for example, and please be reassured that we will be focusing our efforts on reaching patients with life-threatening illnesses and serious injuries as a priority.”