Ambulance service takes action to increase capacity amid rising demands of 999 and 111 calls

ACTIONS have been taken by South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) to increase capacity to meet rising demand.

Monday, 28th June 2021, 5:40 pm

Scas reported receiving almost 2,000 calls a day to 999 currently when it would normally see around 1,600 calls.

The service was also seeing more than 4,500 calls a day to 111 – up from 3,000 a day pre-pandemic.

This has prompted Scas to redeploy clinically-trained staff into front-line operational roles, training additional staff to work in the 111 call centre and additional resources from approved private ambulance providers.

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With pressure high on both services, people are being urged to ensure they only use 999 for life-threatening emergencies and 111 for urgent medical advice while using the full range of other services for less urgent problems including 111.nhs.uk, urgent treatment centres, GPs and pharmacies.

Mark Ainsworth, director of operations at SCAS, said: ‘We will continue to provide the best possible care to all of our patients but we would appreciate any efforts people can make to think carefully about alternatives available for less urgent problems.

‘There are still many occasions when we receive calls from patients who could have their needs met through urgent treatment centres or their GPs, sometimes even pharmacies, so we would greatly appreciate the support of the public while we manage this period of intensity.’

He added: ‘I also want to send a message of thanks to all of our staff and volunteers for continuing to provide quality care in challenging circumstances - we are incredibly proud of them.

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