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LISTEN: 10 ambulance 999 calls dubbed inappropriate

LISTEN: 10 ambulance 999 calls dubbed inappropriate

Published by Emma Carton at 7:01am 23rd December 2018. (Updated at 10:09am 23rd December 2018)

Cornwall's ambulance service is urging people not to call 999 this Christmas unless it is a genuine emergency.

South Western Ambulance Service says demand is likely to peak between now and Boxing Day.

Across that time, it is expecting to deal with more than 3,100 incidents A DAY!

The trust says unnecessary calls can delay emergency help for people in real need of an ambulance.

As a warning it has released a montage from 10 recent 999 calls, being branded 'inappropriate'.

The 10 inappropriate calls were made to SWASFT because:

  1. A man had found in an injured seagull in his house.
  2. A woman's dog had died.
  3. A man was having strange dreams.
  4. A woman's finger nail had come off.
  5. A woman had punched a wall.
  6. A man was sweating when using his computer.
  7. A man wanted a lift home.
  8. A man wanted some non-urgent medical advice.
  9. A woman wanted to be transferred to the 101 police non-emergency number, which costs 15p a minute to call, because she had run out of phone credit.
  10. A woman wanted to complain about the noise of ambulance sirens. 

12 Days of Christmas

The warning is part of the '12 Days of Christmas' campaign, which encourages people to look after themselves over the festive season and to use the ambulance service wisely.

People are reminded only to call 999 when someone is seriously ill or injured, and their life may be at risk.

"The 999 service is only to be used for extremely urgent or life-threatening emergencies, and we urge people to use it wisely.

"If you call because someone is unconscious, not breathing, or has serious bleeding, you are making the right call.

"But calling for an ambulance when it is not absolutely necessary puts additional pressure on our limited resources, and may mean we cannot reach those who are most in need.

"During peak periods, like the festive season, every inappropriate call has the potential to put a life at risk and delay a response to a genuine emergency.

"Please think carefully before calling 999 and ask yourself - 'is it a real emergency?'"

David Fletcher, Head of SWASFT Clinical Hubs

For non-emergency incidents: Phone NHS 111, see a GP or a pharmacist, or visit an NHS Walk-in Centre.

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