Yorkshire Ambulance Service issues 999 plea for Christmas and New Year
Yorkshire Ambulance Service is urging people to think twice before dialling 999 this Christmas and New Year.
Bosses want ambulances to be available for patients ‘in need of time-critical life-saving help’ over the busy festive period.
Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust said it is facing ‘unprecedented demand this winter’.
Over the three-week Christmas period, from today, the Trust predicts that it will deal with more than 70,000 calls.
On the traditionally busiest days of the year – Friday, December 20; Saturday, December 28, Wednesday, January 1 and Thursday, January 2, the service expects to receive an average of one 999 call every 30 seconds. feature in a series
Nick Smith, Director of Operations for Yorkshire Ambulance Service, said: “Alongside all other UK ambulance services, we have seen a significant increase in demand since October and this has been building into November and December, including more serious types of calls often related to breathing problems in the young and elderly.
“We are currently planning for a further increase of 10 per cent across the festive period, which means we will have over 300 ambulances in operation on specific days and are taking numerous other measures.
“However, we need the public to know when to call 999 and when another NHS service is more appropriate.
“If someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk, you should call 999 immediately. If not, please consider other options.”
The ambulance service said it expects 999 calls for patients with chest pain, difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness, severe loss of blood and severe burns and scalds.
Ambulances should also be called for when patients are choking, fitting, drowning, suffering from severe allergic reactions, having a heart attack or stroke.
They should also be called for victims of serious road traffic collisions, stabbings, shootings, or of patients have fallen from a height or suffered a serious head injury.
For other illnesses and injuries, consider a visit to a pharmacy, visit the NHS website www.nhs.uk or call the NHS on 111.