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Ambulance service expects high demand to continue

27 May 2021

South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) is expecting a recent demand surge to continue – and is asking people to ‘make the right call’.

SWASFT has dealt with almost 300 additional emergency incidents a day since the government eased lockdown restrictions to allow the reopening of outdoor hospitality and retail on 12 April and indoor hospitality on 17 May.

It responded to an average of 2,913 incidents a day last week, compared with 2,816 incidents a day between 12 April and 16 May, and 2,627 incidents a day before any of those changes took effect.

SWASFT is expecting to deal with around 3,000 incidents a day during the upcoming bank holiday weekend and half term week when many visitors are likely to travel to the region.

It is asking people to choose well and only call 999 in a life-threatening emergency to help it reach those most in need.

Lead Paramedic Ed Hill said: “We have attended an increased number of emergency incidents recently, and some of them have involved patients who could have sought alternative help.

“During this bank holiday weekend and school half term week, we are expecting our service to be stretched by another rise in patient numbers.

“To help us to help you and your loved ones, please ensure you make the right call. Think 111 before dialling 999, and save emergency ambulances for those who need us most.

“Also if you decide to make your own way to hospital after calling 999, please remember to call us back to ensure your ambulance is available to someone else.”

People should call 999 for an ambulance in a medical emergency. This is when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk. For example: if someone has stopped breathing, is unconscious or has serious bleeding.

People with non-life threatening but urgent medical problems should contact NHS 111. For example, broken or fractured bones, sprains, or burns.

Inappropriate use of the 999 service puts unnecessary additional pressure on limited ambulance resources, and can delay emergency care to those most in need.

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South Western Ambulance Charity

The South Western Ambulance Charity, founded in 1995, uses gifted monies to benefit those in our communities who use our service and to improve the welfare of the staff and volunteers of the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust. 

Our charitable support covers Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire including Bristol and Swindon.

If you would like to show your appreciation for the care that you or your loved one has received from us in the form of a charitable donation please visit our online giving website: Donate to South Western Ambulance Charity | Give as you Live Donate