Help your local ambulance service to help those who really need our help
South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) is asking people to help them to help those who really need an ambulance response by accessing the service appropriately. This means calling 999 ONLY for life-threatening situations and medical emergencies.
Calling for an ambulance when you don't need one can put another person's life at risk by tying up a valuable resource that could respond to a genuine life threatening medical emergency!
Demand on your local ambulance service has doubled in the last ten years. SCAS now receives an average of 1030 calls per day of which around 300 of these are to immediately life threatening medical emergencies requiring a response within 8 minutes.
With the warm weather continuing towards the weekend and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations and half-term holiday both happening next week SCAS is anticipating additional demand on the service.
PLEASE THINK BEFORE YOU CALL 999.
Last year SCAS received 1235 hoax calls and many more inappropriate calls including requests to attend broken fingernails, change light bulbs, provide lifts home, fix broken TV remote controls and to attend to pets! To see how misuse of your ambulance service may cost lives watch '999 South Central' at www.999southcentral.co.uk.
SCAS Operations Director Mark Ainsworth said:
'We would ask that people just take a moment to think before calling 999, especially for someone else. We want people to get the right treatment, from the right person, first time. Our highly trained crews are specially equipped to deal with life threatening emergencies and illnesses and we aim to get to these as fast as we possibly can. However, our response to these seriously ill patients can be delayed if we are dealing with minor illnesses and injuries that may be better dealt with by a GP or by another health care service.'
Remember 'Choose Well' - non life-threatening injury or illness can be treated by accessing the appropriate NHS service. If you are not suffering from a life-threatening emergency but require medical advice or treatment there are several different options available to you.
•ü Call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 (24hrs)
•ü Call your Out of Hours GP Service
•ü Go to your local Walk-in-Centre or your Minor Injuries Unit
•ü Go to the Emergency Department (ED) at your local hospital.
•ü Consult your local Pharmacist.
Published 31 May 2012