Record number of calls to ambulance service from Harlow in January

AMBULANCE chiefs have thanked staff and volunteers for dealing with more than 80,000 calls last month – the service’s busiest ever January.

During January, the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust saw a 12% increase in the total number of calls it received compared to the same month last year.

The highest increases were in Cambridgeshire and Norfolk, both recording a 16% rise.

Despite the large increase in demand, the service reached more patients with potentially life threatening conditions in eight minutes. But the public are being urged to think carefully before phoning the 999, using the It’s your call campaign which provides information about which NHS service to call for their needs, what happens when they call 999, and what to expect. The material includes two posters, a business card-sized reminder, and a video at one of the region’s control rooms.

Head of Emergency Operation Centres Gary Morgan said: “The majority of patients do not always require an immediate response, or in some cases, any form of physical response. However, for those whose illness or injury does need an immediate and rapid response, we want to get to them as quickly as we can and provide them with the best possible care. If you or the person you are with are not in life-threatening danger, help us to respond to those patients who are by using the right service for your needs such as seeing your GP or an out of hours GP, visiting a walk-in centre or minor injuries unit, visiting your pharmacy or calling 111. Choosing wiser will help free up some of our capacity to respond to really sick or injured patients more quickly.”

Chief Executive Robert Morton added: “We are making real improvements for patients and staff – it might not be reflected in the headline performance figures due to the steep rises in demand and other issues affecting our capacity to respond, but we are on the right track. We are changing things to give a more tailored and appropriate response and this is being seen in the fact that the number of patients we have taken to hospital has not gone up as much as demand has. I want to thank all our staff and volunteers who are working really hard to give patients the best possible service.”

For more information on It’s your call, visit here http://www.eastamb.nhs.uk/News-and-Media/Campaigns/its-your-call.htm

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