Ambulance service under pressure

AN UNPRECEDENTED mass of 999 calls in recent bad weather has prompted a general plea from the ambulance service.

The Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust urges people across the region to only call 999 for an ambulance in a medical emergency when it is clear that someone has a life-threatening illness or injury.

Dr Alison Walker, Executive Medical Director at the Trust, said: “The service has received hundreds of 999 calls for weather-related incidents and we are treating a lot of patients involved in road traffic collisions and injured in slips, trips and falls.

“These calls are in addition to other medical emergencies such as heart attacks and strokes.

“We would like to thank members of the public for their support during this challenging period and recognise the efforts of our staff who are working extremely hard to provide services for our patients.

“We ask that for advice and treatment for non-emergencies, people consider options such as a visit to a local pharmacist or GP surgery, a call to NHS Direct or visit a walk-in centre.”

The Trust has activated its Major Incident Plan to allow special arrangements to be put in place to cope with surges in demand.