A member of the European Parliament has issued a stark warning to the Government to help hospital staff amid predictions of plummeting temperatures.

Labour MEP for East of England, Alex Mayer said ministers need to “step up” to avoid a “cold weather crisis” in Hertfordshire hospitals as the winter months set in.

The call to mitigate a “winter nightmare” came after the NHS released figures 15 per cent of patients arriving by ambulance in the East of England region faced a delay of over 30 minutes over the Christmas period.

Ms Mayer said with more cold weather predicted extra pressure on hospital staff was the duty of the Government to plan for.

She told the Watford Observer: “There’s a cold snap on the way and we can see our NHS is already under pressure.

“The bitter temperatures will undoubtedly lead to more pressure on hardworking doctors and nurses.

“The Government need to step up and say what they plan to do before we get to a cold weather crisis situation.”