How you can help your ambulance service this weekend
South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) is encouraging people to use the right healthcare service this weekend, as the heatwave continues and people head out to enjoy the last of the summer weather.
SWASFT is continuing to prioritise the most seriously injured and unwell patients, and is reminding people to only call 999 in a genuine, life-threatening emergency. These include patients who are unconscious, experiencing breathing difficulties, heavy bleeding, severe burns, or having a severe allergic reaction.
If you’re waiting for an ambulance, please don’t call 999 back - unless the patient’s condition has deteriorated or you no longer need an ambulance - to ask when one will arrive, these details can’t be provided, as ambulances are sent to patients with the most life-threatening conditions first.
If you’re heading out and about this weekend - whether in the garden, doing DIY at home, visiting family and friends or exploring the region’s beauty spots, SWASFT is encouraging residents and tourists to plan ahead by:
- Knowing how to describe your exact location in a remote or rural area by using What3Words – a free app which converts your location into a unique three word address - so the emergency services can find you.
- Checking the tide times before heading to the beach, to ensure you have enough time to get back before the tide comes in. If you get into trouble, call 999 and ask for the coastguard.
- Staying out of the direct sun in hot weather, especially between the hours of 11am and 3pm as UV rays are at their strongest during these hours.
- Staying hydrated in the hot weather by drinking plenty of water and taking breaks in the shade.
- Being considerate when you park, especially if you are going to the beach or parking on country lanes. Please make sure you are leaving enough room for emergency service vehicles to pass through.
Wayne Darch, Deputy Director of Operations at SWASFT, said: “We want to be there for everyone that needs us in a medical emergency, and we need your support to help us to help you. Please choose the right care for you, so we can ensure we have crews available for patients with the most life-threatening conditions.
“I would also like to thank our people and NHS colleagues who will be working throughout this heatwave to help keep us all safe and well. Should you need their support, please be kind to them, they are working hard under huge daily pressures.”
In a life-threatening emergency, dial 999 and request an ambulance. For non-life-threatening emergencies, people can access appropriate care by visiting NHS 111 online, contacting their GP or getting advice from a pharmacy.