The Welsh Ambulance Service has repeated calls for the public to use alternatives to calling 999 if their situation is not life threatening.
The Welsh Ambulance Service Trust received more than 4,400 calls over the last weekend, with 22 per cent falling into the lowest acuity ‘green’ calls category. This was an increase of 4% on the previous weekend.
It comes a week after the service declared a “business continuity incident” as crews dealt with “extreme pressure” as a result of the continuing Covid pandemic coupled with heatwave conditions in Wales.
Read more: Welsh Ambulance Service declares rare, serious incident as extreme heat leads to increase in life-threatening calls
On Monday, July 19, Wales’ health minister Eluned Morgan also confirmed the Welsh Ambulance Service was experiencing “extreme pressure”.
Among the green 999 calls the ambulance service received this weekend, were things such as sunburn, being unable to go to the toilet and back pain from gardening.
The Welsh Ambulance Service said many of the calls referenced matters which very often can be treated by self-care, a pharmacist or the Symptom Checker tools at NHS 111 Wales.
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Lee Brooks, Director of Operations for the Welsh Ambulance Service said: “We are asking people to consider the alternatives to calling 999 if their situation is not a life threatening emergency – this will help us in assisting those most in need of our emergency ambulances.
“For non-urgent conditions it is vital people begin to use one of the many alternatives to 999, starting with the symptom checkers on our NHS 111 Wales website as well as their GP, pharmacist and Minor Injuries Unit.
“If your call is not for a life-threatening emergency but you feel you require hospital treatment then you may be asked to consider an alternative method of transportation such as any family, friends or neighbours who can drive you.”
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