Military on standby as 999 calls to South Central Ambulance Service spike at 2,000 on single day

AMBULANCE service bosses have warned the military and fire service they will need help as demand peaked at more than 2,000 calls in a single day.

Wednesday, 30th December 2020, 11:45 am

South Central Ambulance Service took 1,697 calls on Christmas Day, growing to 1,990 on Boxing Day and more than 2,000 on December 27.

Now the service has confirmed it has warned the military and Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service it may need help.

A Scas spokesman said: ‘We (have) already... been in touch with our military and fire service partners who helped us earlier this year to forewarn them that we may need their help again due to the increasing demand on our emergency ambulance and non-emergency patient transport service, and pressure across the NHS in our region as a whole.

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A file photo of an ambulance in Portsmouth. Picture: Sarah Standing (210319-3418)

‘Our fire service partners continue to help us with their medically-trained co-responders.’

There have been 160 deaths in the council area, with 7,043 Covid-19 cases since the pandemic started.

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Hampshire’s chief fire officer Neil Odin said he has formally written offering firefighters’ support to the ambulance service.

He tweeted: ‘Firefighters stand ready willing and able to support during Covid-19.’

An earlier Scas statement said: ‘We have been encouraging people with non life-threatening illnesses or injuries to use NHS 111 – either the online service or by calling 111 – as well as making use of their GP practice and other urgent treatment centres that have remained available.

‘Our staff and volunteers are working incredibly hard to support patients and their families and we would urge people to only call 999 if it is a serious or life-threatening emergency.’

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