Demand Pressures for Yorkshire Ambulance Service

19 July 2021

During the last few weeks Yorkshire Ambulance Service has seen some of the highest demand ever for its services and, with the easing of lockdown measures, the service is asking the public to only use 999 when there is a serious or life-threatening emergency so that ambulance resources are available for patients who need them most.

The Trust has seen demand for its services increasing month by month since January 2021 and July is shaping up to be one of the busiest months ever.

Over the weekend Yorkshire Ambulance Service was forecast to receive just over 3,085 emergency calls on Saturday and 3,034 calls on Sunday. The number of calls actually received was 4,449 on Saturday and 4,194 on Sunday, an increase of over 40%.

Nick Smith, Executive Director of Operations at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: “We have been experiencing periods of extremely high demand in recent weeks and we can only see this increasing with restrictions much reduced. This is having a significant impact on our frontline operations and we are asking the public to help us by only calling 999 in a serious or life-threatening emergency to help us focus our efforts on our most poorly patients.

“We are continuing to respond to those in need as swiftly as possible, but acknowledge that some patients are having to wait longer than we would like them to. All emergency calls are categorised according to the nature of a patient’s illness or injury and those in a life-threatening condition are always prioritised.

“The hot weather this weekend appears to have exacerbated the situation. Whilst we have responded to a significant number of serious incidents, we’ve also had calls from people suffering from heat stroke for example, and who we advise to use self-care or a pharmacy rather than calling for an emergency response. We are also asking people not to make duplicate 999 calls unless a patient’s condition has deteriorated significantly as these extra calls can overburden the system.

“If someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk, they should call 999 immediately. For anyone with less serious illnesses and injuries, they should consider self-care, their local pharmacy, their GP surgery, urgent care centre or make their own way to the emergency department. Our NHS 111 service is also available online at or by calling 111.” “Every part of the system is currently under pressure so please think carefully about the right NHS service for your needs. “Our staff are continuing to work very hard and are doing their best to make sure everyone can get the care they require.”

Produced by: Corporate Communications Department