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Ambulance service appeals to the public to only call 999 in a life-threatening emergency

15 December 2014

Like a number of other ambulance services across the country, Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust has confirmed that it had its busiest weekend ever for ‘Red’ 999 calls – which are calls to the most seriously ill and injured patients.

On Friday (12 December) the Trust responded to 2,152 incidents of which 1,046 were prioritised as ‘Red’. This was surpassed on Saturday (13 December) when there were 1,098 ‘Red’ incidents from a similar total of over 2,150. ‘Red’ incidents accounted for around 50% of all incidents compared to the usual average of around 40%.

On Sunday (14 December) there were 2,042 incidents with 1,001 coded as ‘Red’.

Due to the unprecedented number of 999 calls being received for serious and life-threatening conditions, the Trust is appealing to people across the region to only call 999 for an ambulance in an absolute emergency when it is obvious that someone needs time-critical assistance.

Dr David Macklin, Executive Director of Operations at the Trust, said: “We are currently receiving hundreds of 999 calls every day to patients with breathing difficulties and other serious conditions.  We really need people to use our emergency service wisely so that we keep ambulances available for those patients who need life-saving help.

“Whilst many people do use our emergency service appropriately, some callers could be helped by other more appropriate healthcare services.

“Anyone needing advice and treatment for non-emergencies should consider options such as contacting a local pharmacist or GP surgery, a call to NHS 111 or visit an urgent care centre. In addition, the NHS Choices website provides helpful information and advice on many common conditions, treatments and local services.”

Produced By: Corporate Communications Department