Medical staff on the frontline claim A&E departments already under pressure are being squeezed by a service designed to help - the NHS 111 helpline.
ITV News Correspondent Rupert Evelyn reports:
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Experts said a lack of consumer confidence lies at the heart of a lower spend both in shops and online.
Rain, wind, ice and snow brought power cuts and travel disruption to the UK.
Rain spreading eastwards through today.