Ambulance service urges people not to call 999 unless it is a real emergency
PUBLISHED: 11:07 07 December 2016 | UPDATED: 11:15 07 December 2016
Cambridge residents are being urged to avoid calling 999 for anything other than a real emergency.
The festive period is the ambulance service’s busiest of the year and 90,364 emergency calls were handled by East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) control rooms last December.
That had risen from 84,291 in December 2014 and the 19th was the busiest for the whole area, with call handlers taking 3,216 calls - coinciding with the busiest Christmas ‘party weekend’.
Kevin Brown, Director of Service Delivery, said: “Sadly people will use 999 ‘just because’ but we need them to take a totally different stance.
“Anyone who has had to make a devastating 999 call because they’re with someone in cardiac arrest or with life-threatening injuries will be the first to say it’s not an easy call to make and for our call handlers the worst calls to hear.
“We prioritise people according to the greatest need, and that means low priority calls may take longer to respond to. If you know the situation you’re in doesn’t need an emergency response, please think about alternatives so that we can prioritise our resources for those critically ill patients who need us most.
“All of our advice and directions to information about staying well can be found at www.eastamb.nhs.uk, on Facebook and on Twitter using #winterwise. By taking some simple steps with your health, wellbeing and safety, the chances of you needing any emergency care are greatly reduced and you can get on with enjoying the best bits of winter.”
The NHS ‘Stay well this winter’ campaign can be accessed by visiting www.nhs.uk/staywell.