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The Big Freeze Continues

21 January 2013

As the big freeze continues, David Williams, Deputy Director of Operations at Yorkshire Ambulance Service talks about how the service has been coping.

Mr Williams said: "While we are well prepared for bad weather with tried and tested plans, inevitably it is a challenging period for ambulance services and can affect how quickly we are able to reach people if only because it is more difficult to get around.

“Despite the heavy snowfall overnight and this morning our emergency service has been operating effectively and our dedicated staff continue to work extremely hard, making every effort to reach patients as quickly and safely as possible.

“Hazardous conditions in the outlying rural areas and on side roads have led to extended drive-times but we have resources such as 4x4s located in the worst-hit areas to ensure staff and patients can keep moving. 

“Although the number of 999 calls has so far been within expected levels, the further snow and icy conditions forecast are likely to cause an increase in demand for our service, particularly for weather-related calls. 

“To ensure that the safety of our patients and staff has not been compromised, we have cancelled non-emergency patient transport for patients due to attend routine appointments at hospital clinics today except for Hull, where normal service has been possible. However, the service has been operating for patients with urgent medical needs such as essential renal and oncology treatments. We are constantly reviewing the situation and will keep patients informed of any further cancellations as appropriate.  

“I would like to thank members of the public for their support over the past few days and for helping us to reach those most seriously ill or injured by only calling 999 when someone is seriously ill and injured.” 

Produced By: Corporate Communications Department