Your ambulance service needs you

Plea to the public to use services wisely ahead of the weekend

We need your help to ensure we can reach those who need us.

That’s the message from North East Ambulance Service ahead of the weekend after an increase in 999 and 111 calls over the last three months.

Calls have continued to increase over the last month, reaching some of the highest levels of the year over the past three weekends – as high as the Trust would usually expect to see only on New Year’s Eve.

Simon Swallow, Strategic Head of Emergency Preparedness Resilience Response at NEAS, said: “We are seeing a greater proportion of calls to 999 from those who are more seriously ill but we are also seeing a greater number of calls that are triaged and discharged over the phone and could perhaps have been dealt with by a non-emergency service.

“This is then compounded by the fact that additional infection and control measures, including personal protective equipment and daily vehicle deep cleaning measures, limits the availability of resources to respond to patients. Our workforce also continues to be impacted by higher sickness rates than usual as a result of illness or isolation.

We are seeing the impacts of lock down easing, bank holidays and good weather – we’ve had more calls for people injured on the roads or as a result of intoxication and people affected by the heat after not taking the necessary precautions

“We are still reaching the most seriously ill patients as quickly as possible and our staff are working tirelessly to ensure this remains the case, but we can’t do this without you.”

Members of the public are reminded to:

  • only call 999 for life-threatening emergencies
  • consider other ways of seeking help if it is not an emergency, such as your local pharmacist or 111 online
  • behave responsibly when enjoying a night out so you don’t require our services

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Copyright 2011 North East Ambulance Service Trust

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