Ambulance service 'under great pressure'
THE head of the region's ambulance service is urging people to only call 999 in an emergency as it deals with a surge in demand.
The South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust had more than 20,000 call-outs over the week from September 11 to 17, including 2,900 incidents a day on the Saturday and Sunday: as busy as a typical New Year’s Eve. On Monday September 14 the number increased to 3,030 incidents.
Trust chief executive Will Warrender said: “Our people are working incredibly hard to keep you all safe, as we deal with incredibly high activity levels across the region.
“We have been responding to more than 200 additional incidents a day, which is putting substantial pressure on our resources.
“We are reviewing our resources to ensure we can continue responding to patients safely and effectively.
“We will always be there for the patients who need us, but we must ensure we can speak to and treat those with the most life-threatening injuries and illnesses first.
“Please help us to help you by only calling 999 in a genuine, life threatening emergency to ensure we can continue delivering care for those who need us.”
The trust advised people to call 999 if someone has stopped breathing, has severe chest pain, is choking, may be having a stroke, has serious blood loss, or is unconscious but to call 111 if they have a less-serious, but urgent medical problem and aren’t sure what to do.
People who think they have coronavirus symptoms should try to book a test.