A major incident has been declared in Yorkshire after heavy snow and a surge in patient demand hit the region.
The Yorkshire Ambulance Service said it made the decision because of the worsening weather conditions and a high volume of 999 calls, according to The Independent.
A message sent to staff seen by the publication said: ‘Heavy snow is currently affecting north, west and south Yorkshire and having a severe impact on our operations.
‘We are implementing a number of actions in order to protect our core services for patients and respond to the ongoing demand, including increasing our 4×4 capacity, implementing mutual aid arrangements and identifying staff who would be available at work at short notice.’
Heavy snow has brought much of Yorkshire to a standstill with schools closed and public transport suspended.
Snow has been falling throughout the day and is expected to last until well into the evening.
The ambulance service has urged staff to prepare for the weather and to make sure they left enough time to get to work.
The message to staff said: ‘We have a duty of care to our patients to continue to provide safe and responsive services. They will be relying on us to be there for them so we urge you to build some resilience into your own travel-to-work plans.’
A Met Office yellow ‘be aware’ warning for snow and ice remains in force in Yorkshire until 9pm.
The weather has forced the Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI) vaccination centre to close early.
A message from the trust advised patients not to attend hospital.
Around 300 schools for the children of key workers in West Yorkshire and around 50 in both North and South Yorkshire have been forced to shut.
Public transport has also been severely disrupted, with some operators having to cancel their services entirely.
More to follow