GLASGOW hospitals dealt with soaring numbers of patients as the freezing temperatures created hazardous conditions for pedestrians on the city’s streets.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said visits to emergency and minor injury units were up 56 per cent on the previous year – causing longer waits for patients.

On Tuesday, staff dealt with 1,816 patients across all of their sites, an increase of 654 patients for the same day last year.

Patient numbers at Stobhill’s minor injury unit were up 124 per cent, with Vale of Leven rising 114 per cent, on last year’s daily average.

This led to longer waits for some, although staff managed to see, treat, admit or discharge eight of every 10 patients within the four-hour target.

Glasgow City Council bosses acknowledged the increase in slips and falls, saying the wet and freezing conditions had washed away grit that had been laid in anticipation of plunging temperatures overnight on Monday.

A spokesman said 900km of the city’s 1900km roadways had been gritted.

Jane Grant, chief executive of NHS GGC, said: “Our emergency departments and minor injury units were exceptionally busy yesterday dealing with a significant number of injuries as a result of the icy conditions.

“The response of our staff was outstanding, with many coming in at short notice and staying on duty beyond the end of their shifts to ensure patients were seen and treated as quickly as possible.

“It never ceases to amaze me just how dedicated our staff are and how committed they all are to the most important part of the job – looking after our patients and I have thanked them for all their effort.”

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: “There is no question that weather and ground conditions proved to be exceptionally challenging on Tuesday morning.

“Glasgow was not the only local authority area to experience freezing rain around breakfast time on Tuesday, which helped to undermine much of the preventative gritting treatments we had undertaken in anticipation of low temperatures.

“The freezing rain had the dual effect of washing away grit that had been laid out overnight but that rain then also froze on contact with the cold ground, creating instant black ice.

“Winter weather always creates risks for all road users and we routinely urge residents to take the greatest possible care when conditions deteriorate.”