Ambulance service busier than on New Year’s Eve during the hot weather

editorial image

HOT weather has led to a big increase in 999 calls for for West Midlands Ambulance Service.

The service say it pulled out all the stops to answer and attend calls as quickly as possible, but in order to protect the most seriously ill and injured, it is appealing to the public to think before dialling ‘999’ and consider whether they really need an ambulance.

On Friday (May 25) and Saturday (May 26), the service dealt with approx. 2,500 incidents; Saturday night being a particularly busy time.

Percentage increase on last year: Fri 25th May Sat 26th May

Birmingham 23% 11.7%

Black Country 17.2% 28.6%

Coventry & Warwickshire 16.1% 10.4%

Staffordshire 15.1% 11%

West Mercia 20.4% 31.3%

The service’s single busiest hour was between 8pm and 9pm on Sunday (May 27) when it received 213 emergency ‘999’ calls; busier than an average hour on New Year’s Eve.

Analysis of the types of calls shows the main cause of the increase being chest pains and breathing difficulties; but there was also an increase in inappropriate calls including alcohol-related incidents of assault and irresponsible behaviour.

Mark Gough, Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer, said: “The ambulance service is there for life-threatening conditions and emergencies such as choking, chest pain, a stroke, serious blood loss or a state of unconsciousness, but inappropriate calling can delay our response to those in genuine need.

“The more minor cases can be treated quickly and effectively by other areas of the NHS such as NHS Direct, a local pharmacy, walk-in centre or GP who all operate an out-of-hours service.”