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Ambulance Service Warns Over High Summer Demand

12 August 2020

South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) is reminding people only to call 999 in a medical emergency when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk.

The Trust has been responding to a high number of incidents in recent days, as demand on the service has increased noticeably during the past month.

SWASFT dealt with 14,340 incidents between Friday 7 and Tuesday 11 August, an increase of 13.8% compared to the same time period last year.

The Trust is encouraging people to use the ambulance service wisely, and to make appropriate use of other healthcare options.

It warns that continued high call volumes could delay help to those patients most in need of emergency care.

A SWASFT spokesperson said: “Our activity levels have been higher in recent weeks, with the easing of lockdown and many visitors coming into the South West.

“In recent days we have experienced a very high level of demand – similar to what would normally be expected between Christmas and New Year.

“We would remind people always to call 999 if someone is seriously ill or injured, or their life is at risk.

“For less-serious medical incidents, please contact NHS 111 by phone or online to make sure you get the right treatment.

“Please think carefully before calling 999 and ask yourself: ‘Is it a real emergency?’”

People should always call 999 if someone has stopped breathing, has severe chest pain, is choking, may be having a stroke, has serious blood loss, or is unconscious.



1. This chart shows the total number of SWASFT incidents per day:



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South Western Ambulance Charity

The South Western Ambulance Charity, founded in 1995, uses gifted monies to benefit those in our communities who use our service and to improve the welfare of the staff and volunteers of the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust. 

Our charitable support covers Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire including Bristol and Swindon.

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