THE ambulance trust that covers Cumbria has experienced a sharp rise in calls to attend life-threatening emergencies.

The North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust says the unprecedented rise in the number of seriously ill patients could lead to delays for those with less serious conditions.

Regionally, the Trust has seen an increase of 6.8 per cent compared to April, May and June of last year.

In Cumbria, that figure stands at 4.7 per cent.

In Lancashire it is 7.9 per cent.

"These patients need our help urgently, they have life-threatening conditions and it is these people we need to reach within eight minutes," said director of operations Derek Cartwright.

"We’re seeing people with conditions such as respiratory and heart conditions which can exacerbated by the warm weather and in this period, we have also had the World Cup and four bank holidays which brings incidents involving alcohol."