Increase in "nasty" sledging injuries strains North East Ambulance Service

People sledging in a snow covered park in Whitley Bay. Credit: PA Images

The North East Ambulance Service is being put under additional pressure as it has had to deal with an increase in the number of sledging incidents it is responding to.

Over the last few days staff have attended around 20 calls with some "significant" limb and head injuries, including "nasty" fractures.

The difficulties we face are some of the areas we've been called to have been quite difficult for our staff to get to, having to go across some slippery ground to rescue patients from where they've been sledging.

Douglas McDougall, North East Ambulance Service

Back up crews have been called on to assist, for example, when a stretcher is required to help a patient.

Douglas McDougall, who is Head of Emergency Care for the service, has been telling us staff have been put in extra danger from having to work in the icy locations themselves.

People are being advised to be careful if they are going outside in the cold conditions and to make sure the area they are going to is safe to sledge in, with a good stopping area at the bottom.