Patients face longer waits for ambulances in bad weather

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AMBULANCE chiefs are warning that patients will face longer waiting times if the bad weather continues.

The North West Ambulance Service responded to 19,328 emergency 999 incidents in one week, with more than 8,000 of those categorised as life threatening – a record high for the service.

The trust’s director of emergency services, Derek Cartwright, said that ambulance crews had relied on Mountain Rescue volunteers and the Coastguard for help, and that neighbours had rallied round to dig out ambulances stuck in the snow. Other people were less thoughtful: a woman called 999 because she had cold feet after walking home in no shoes because she was afraid she would slip.