Ambulance Service Says Only Dial 999 In An Emergency
PUBLISHED: 10:03 21 December 2009 | UPDATED: 11:11 04 May 2010
THE East of England Ambulance Service is calling on the public to use common sense and only dial 999 in an emergency. With road conditions worsening and more snow expected in the region, operational bosses at the East of England Ambulance Service are ur
THE East of England Ambulance Service is calling on the public to use common sense and only dial 999 in an emergency.
With road conditions worsening and more snow expected in the region, operational bosses at the East of England Ambulance Service are urging people to take care on the ice and snow.
On Saturday, December 19, the service experienced an exceptionally high demand of 999 calls from people falling and slipping over in the snow and ice. Paul Leaman, associate director (operational support) for the East of England Ambulance Service said: "Road conditions are extremely hazardous and ambulances are having difficulties reaching calls due to the adverse weather conditions."
"We are currently responding to calls for emergency assistance across the region and will be using 4 x 4 vehicles to help us reach more isolated locations. However, we are relying on the public's good sense to use the 999 service wisely s which will help us to respond to people who need our assistance for true emergencies."
"If anyone is in any doubt about whether they need a 999 response they should ring NHS Direct for advice on 0845 4647 or contact their local doctor's surgery. Those within distance of an NHS GP led walk-in centre or minor injury unit should go there for treatment for minor illness and injury of the kind you would normally go to your GP or pharmacy about. We are also particularly asking drivers and members of the public to avoid unnecessary journeys not to venture out, even on a relatively short journey."
"Patients who could either get advice or treatment elsewhere within the NHS or wait until their GP surgery is open on Monday should expect to be given this advice. This includes requests for repeat prescriptions, dental problems and other minor illness and injury. At times when the ambulance service is extremely busy we really need the public to help us by using the most appropriate service for their needs. If you have any doubt about whether you need a 999 response please call NHS Direct on 0845 4647 and seek advice. Advice is also available from pharmacies and you can see a doctor without an appointment at the GP led health centres across the region and minor injury units. Information about these is available from NHS Direct or your local primary care trust website."
When to call 999
You should call 999 for an ambulance when it is obvious that you or another person is seriously ill and in need of immediate emergency care. Here are some examples of situations when you should call 999:
* Someone is unconscious
* Someone is bleeding heavily
* Someone may have broken bones
* Someone has a deep laceration
* Someone has chest pain
* Someone is having difficulty breathing
Wear the right shoes for snow and ice!
The East of England Ambulance Service is urging people to take care walking in the snow and ice. Following a rise in falls by younger people, women and men, falling in the ice and injuring themselves.
A spokesperson for the Trust said: "Many town centre streets and pavements are icy, and the combination of alcohol and high heels or smooth soled shoes has proved disastrous to some who have found it difficult to keep their balance and have ended up in plaster, which isn't a great look for Christmas and new year.
"We don't want to put a damper on the party spirit, but there are some serious messages here. Attending slips and trips puts unnecessary pressure on our services and those of A&E departments across the region at a time when we are also experiencing high demand for emergency care. It could be avoided in most cases and we strongly urge the people to give some thought to their footwear and to wear sensible shoes until they reach a venue and then change into their party shoes when they are safely inside.