With Met Office warnings of cold weather, and potential for frosty/icy conditions, sleet and snow, setting in this weekend and continuing into next week, the North West Ambulance Service urges residents of the North West to prepare themselves.
When temperatures fall, we always see a marked rise in the number of seriously ill patients; especially with respiratory problems and the number of people who have heart attacks and strokes. If you have a pre-existing medical condition ensure that you have sufficient medications. When you’re outside, wear warm clothing, heavy coats, gloves and scarves. We ask people to look out for elderly neighbours, friends and relatives, and to help them out where they can.
We traditionally see an increase in slips and trips due to icy conditions, which puts additional pressure on the Service. Make sure you stay on your feet, and wear the correct footwear. Perhaps stock up on food and other items before the frost settles in, to avoid having to travel in icy conditions. If using your vehicle this weekend, please plan your journey, and check your vehicle over before departing. Make sure you have warm clothing, water and provisions with you, in anticipation of long-waits.
Derek Cartwright, NWAS Acting Director of Operations: “The Ambulance Service is an active supporter of NHS North West’s Choose Well campaign, which highlight alternative pathways of care to patients such as NHS Direct, Urgent Care Centres, pharmacies, walk-in centres, minor injury units and GPs, while explaining that visits to A&E departments and ambulances should be for urgent cases only.
“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 urgent incidents cannot wait, we need to get to these people as quickly as possible without having to divert from patients who have coughs and colds and other minor ailments that can be easily treated elsewhere.”
If you’re unsure about the type of treatment you need, NHS Direct (0845 4647) can offer advice on where the best treatment centre is for you.
Pictured above is Sussex Road, Southport a couple of years ago
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