NHS England has issued a warning about the potential impact on services of cold weather over the next seven days.
There was a 70% probability of severe cold weather and icy conditions in northern England between 6pm yesterday evening – 12 January – and 7am on Sunday, it said.
It noted that “this weather could increase the health risks to vulnerable patients and disrupt the delivery of services”.
The warning from NHS England follows a weather alert issued by the MET Office yesterday morning.
The regions likely to be most badly affected are the North West, the North East and Yorkshire and the Humber – where the MET Office cold weather alert grading has been raised to level two, defined as “alert and readiness”.
The MET Office called on healthcare providers in those three regions to refer to the national cold weather plan and their trust’s emergency plan “for appropriate preventive action”.
The remainder of the country is still at the minimum state for winter vigilance – level one, defined as “winter preparedness and action”.