PARAMEDICS in Cumbria and the rest of the North West have been ordered to respond only to 'life-threatening' incidents after ambulance bosses declared the severe weather to be 'a major incident'.

Bob Williams, North West Ambulance Service's deputy chief executive, said: “Due to the severe weather conditions currently being experienced across the region, NWAS has declared a major incident.

"This is due to the fact, particularly in Greater Manchester, we are unlikely to be able to reach patients with minor injuries or symptoms.

“We are having to stringently prioritise all of our 999 calls and despatch our resources to life-threatening cases only.

"We would like to stress the urgency for people to stay indoors unless it is absolutely necessary.

“The driving conditions are extremely hazardous and we would like to ensure that the risk of injury on the roads is reduced as much as possible.”

If anyone needs any medical advice, they should contact NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.