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Ambulance service called out 28k times over Christmas

Ambulance service called out 28k times over Christmas

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 2:51pm 7th January 2020. (Updated at 8:45am 8th January 2020)

It has been revealed that the ambulance provider for Cornwall and the south west was called out over 28,000 times over Christmas and New Year.

South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) is urging people to use its services wisely after a very high level of demand.

Between 23rd December and 1st January staff dealt with 28,984 incidents, which was an increase of 7.48% compared to the previous year.

On Boxing Day staff dealt with 3,111 incidents which was 13% up on last year, and on New Year’s Day they dealt with 3,386 incidents which was an increase of 4.5%. 

New Year’s Eve also saw incident numbers increase by 4% on last year.

Additional staff were put in place in control rooms and out on the road, as demand is traditionally noticeably higher over the festive period.

"Our staff and volunteers extremely hard to prepare for the pressures of winter, and to deliver our services to patients throughout this busy season.

"We are continuing our efforts to manage demand and ensure patients continue to receive the right care.

"We expect the demand to remain high during the next few months, and so we would continue to urge patients to use NHS services wisely. 

"Patients can help to reduce pressure by using the most appropriate NHS service for their needs, and by calling 999 only if someone is seriously ill or injured, or their life is at risk."

A SWASFT spokesman

SWASFT is reminding people to choose the most appropriate service for their conditions, and only to call 999 if someone is seriously ill or injured, or their life is at risk.

That includes if someone has stopped breathing, has severe chest pain, is choking, may be having a stroke, has serious blood loss, or is unconscious.

Help with less serious conditions is available from GP surgeries, pharmacies, by dialling NHS111 or visiting NHS111 online, or by visiting local walk-in centres.

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