Local ambulance service shortlisted for 3 UK Social Media Communications Awards 2012.
South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust's (SCAS) '999 Misuse Costs Lives' campaign has been shortlisted in 3 categories of the Some Comms Awards 2012 (UK Social Media Communications Awards).
Now in their third year, these awards celebrate the best in UK social media, recognising the individuals and organisations that are using on-line to communicate in cool and creative ways.
This year the Some Comms Awards have received more entries than ever before in eighteen categories. Your local ambulance service has been shortlisted in 3 of these categories - Best use of YouTube, Public Sector and Best Viral Campaign.
SCAS' '999 Misuse Costs Lives' campaign is multi media Public Relations campaign which includes a viral video to reduce hoax and inappropriate calls to South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust and in doing so to help to ensure that resources are available to respond to genuine life threatening medical emergencies amongst a resident population in excess of 4 million throughout the counties of Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire 24/7.
Gillian Hodgetts, SCAS' Head of Communications & PR said:
'I'm delighted that the innovative work the trust has done towards reducing the number inappropriate and hoax calls we receive has been recognised by our inclusion on this year's Some Comms Awards shortlist in three categories. This is testament to our continual commitment to reduce inappropriate demand on the service and an accolade to all concerned in producing our '999 Misuse Costs Lives' campaign.'
The Trust, which receives 1030 emergency calls every day, of which 300 are potentially life-threatening, is asking the public to call 999 for emergencies and life-threatening situations only, after it was revealed that demand on the service has doubled in the last 10 years and the service received 1,235 hoax calls and many more inappropriate calls during 2011.
SCAS Area Manager Paul Jefferies, a highly experienced paramedic with over 18 years service, said:
'Inappropriate calls I have regularly experienced include responding to the emergency of a man in "severe pain" and on arrival he wanted me to pass him some paracetamol from a table less than two metres away; people calling 999 because they want a lift to visit a relative in hospital; or people injured with say a broken finger, which is not life threatening, but they have no money to get to A&E.
'This misuse takes vital resources away from people in life-threatening situations. If you or someone from your family is in cardiac arrest you want to know that that emergency care is going to be with you as quickly as possible.'
If you are suffering from a life-threatening emergency, such as a heart attack, severe loss of blood, difficulty breathing or a serious accident, dial 999 immediately.
If you are not suffering from a life-threatening emergency but require medical advice or treatment there are several different options available to you. You can:
- Self Care - Make sure you keep your medicine cabinet stocked up with basic medicines to treat minor illnesses and ailments
- Call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 (24hrs)
- Contact your local Pharmacist
- Call your GP practice or Out of Hours GP Service
- Go to your local Walk-in-Centre or Minor Injuries Unit
- Go to your local accident and emergency (A&E) department.
The 2012 Some Comms Awards will be presented at a ceremony at The Radisson Edwardian Hotel in Manchester on Thursday 18 October.
Published 18 September 2012