Paramedics at South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) are reminding people to choose appropriately this May bank holiday as demand for the ambulance service is expected to be busy.
The Trust is expecting more than 11,000 calls over the bank holiday weekend. Please help our staff and volunteers to help those most in need by only calling 999 in a life threatening emergency and #ChooseWell
SWASFT is making more staff and vehicles available to combat the increased demand and is also advising members of the public to stop and think before dialing 999 for an emergency ambulance and to consider alternative treatment options if appropriate.
Examples of when to call 999 include choking, chest pain, stroke, serious blood loss and unconsciousness. Using 999 correctly helps our paramedic crews to reach those patients most in need of clinical attention.
Alternative healthcare options for less serious conditions include; visiting your local pharmacy, visiting a minor injuries unit or NHS walk-in centre, or calling NHS111. You can also find a whole host of information and advice online at http://www.nhs.uk
Dr Andy Smith, Medical Executive Director of SWASFT, says: “As the May bank holiday approaches us we are predicting a busy time ahead and although we have more resources out, we only have a finite number of ambulances and highly-trained paramedic crews available. This means we will, as always, prioritise and focus on those patients in a time-critical life-threatening condition.
“We’re committed to delivering the right care, in the right place, at the right time for the 5.5 million residents and the 23 million visitors we serve in our region. But we’d like to ask the public to stop and think ‘is this an emergency?’ before dialling 999.”
People visiting the south west this May bank holiday should also remember to bring any essential medicines and stock up on repeat prescriptions before they travel as many pharmacies will have reduced opening hours across the long weekend.
Photo: James, Emergency Medical Dispatcher, SWASFT 999 Control hub
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