Yorkshire Ambulance Service declares critical incident due to extreme pressures

20 December 2022

Yorkshire Ambulance Service has today (20 December) declared a critical incident as a result of significant demand pressures impacting on its ability to respond safely to patients.

The incident has been declared as a result of significant delays for patients waiting for an ambulance, together with a reduction in ambulance crew availability to respond because of delays in handing over patients at the region’s hospitals.

 A Yorkshire Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “An extremely high volume of calls is currently having a significant impact on both our 999 and NHS 111 operations and delays in in our ability to respond to patients in our communities.”

 “Our service is under unprecedented pressure and declaring a critical incident means we can focus our resources on those patients most in need and communicates the pressures we are under to our health system partners who can provide support. 

 “While the situation is being managed in line with the plans that we have in place to protect our core services, unfortunately there are patients who are facing delays and we are very sorry that we are unable to respond to them as quickly as we would like.”

 “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. It’s important that members of the public only call 999 for an ambulance when it is a serious or life-threatening emergency. This will help us to focus our efforts on our most poorly patients.

 “You can also help us by not calling back to check where the ambulance is as we need those phone lines to be free for those in a life-threatening condition. However, if the condition of the patient changes or if you feel you no longer need an ambulance, it’s important that you let us know.

 “For anyone with less serious illnesses and injuries, they should consider self-care, their local pharmacy, GP surgery or urgent care centre.  For anyone who feels that their condition requires being seen at an emergency department, they should consider making their own way there. Our NHS 111 service is also available online at 111.nhs.uk or by calling 111.

 “We will continue to monitor the situation closely and thank all our hard-working staff and volunteers for their efforts at this challenging time.”


Notes to Editor:

Due to the current ongoing situation, no ambulance service spokesperson will be available for interview.

 Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust covers almost 6,000 square miles of varied terrain from isolated moors and dales to urban areas, coastline and inner cities and provides 24-hour emergency and healthcare services to a population of more than five million people. The organisation receives around average of over 3,500 emergency and routine calls per day and employs over 7,200 staff.

 The Patient Transport Service made over 706,000 journeys in 2021-22 transporting eligible patients to and from hospital and treatment centre appointments. The Trust’s NHS 111 service helped around 1.7 million patients across Yorkshire and the Humber, Bassetlaw, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire during 2021-22. To find out more about YAS, please visit the website at www.yas.nhs.uk

Produced by: Corporate Communications Department