AMBULANCE chiefs have issued a simple message to Bucks residents due to the snow and icy conditions – Stay at home.

South Central Ambulance Service is expecting increased demand for its services and all available paramedics are out responding to emergency calls, using 4x4s where necessary.

A statement issued this morning says: “SCAS is urging members of the public to stay at home as a result of the recent snow fall and icy conditions that are making driving hazardous and pavements slippery.

“Please do not go out unless your journey is absolutely necessary. If you do have to venture out please be extra cautious...

“SCAS expects to see an increased demand on our services due to the adverse weather conditions and we may take longer to get to locations due to the poor driving conditions caused by the weather.

“Our priority is to get to people as quickly and as safely as possible in spite of the difficult conditions and this means that journeys are taking longer than they would normally.

“We are doing everything that we can to manage the anticipated increased demand and are urging people to help us by not going out unless absolutely necessary and by only phoning 999 in the event of a medical emergency.

“Please remember that misuse of the ambulance service costs lives!”

Director of patient care Fizz Thompson said: “Anyone who does need an emergency ambulance should call 999. People suffering minor illnesses or injury should consider other options first, such as calling their GP practice or NHS Direct on 0845 4647.”