Ambulance Service send out Christmas Plea

The ambulance service announced a message over Christmas calling for people to think before dialling 999 in a bid to reduce pressure on paramedics.

South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust reported it was facing significant demand over the Christmas period which was affecting its ability to respond quickly to 999 emergencies.

The trust, has seen a 10 per cent increase in demand compared to last year, called on the public to think before calling 999 for an ambulance.

The trust’s on call Strategic Incident Commander, Richard Webber said at the time: “We are currently receiving a high volume of emergency 999 calls which we are struggling to reach in a timely manner. “This means that for certain emergencies, some patients can expect to wait longer for an ambulance as we focus our efforts on responding to calls which are deemed life-threatening. “The public can help us by avoid calling us for non-life-threatening emergencies and seek alternative treatment from other healthcare providers or if you do require hospital treatment look to make your own way there.”

MET Medical has seen an increase in calls from private individuals who have given up on the NHS or are no longer entitled to transport for example, after an operation.

A recent incident involving a private ambulance service leaving a sick patient at home may have resulted in one ambulance service announcing it’s plans to terminate the use of private ambulance companies, but is said to have hired them all back the next week, when it realised it couldn’t cope with out them.

Dave Hawkins