999 crews left with no ambulances free after huge demand

A police van guards the scene of the collision in Southsea last night. Picture: @PompeyPolice/Twitter
A police van guards the scene of the collision in Southsea last night. Picture: @PompeyPolice/Twitter
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EMERGENCY crews were left with no ambulances to respond to incidents last night after a surge in 999 calls.

Police officers took to social media to highlight the fact they were waiting for an ambulance after a collision in the city shortly after rush hour.

South Central Ambulance Service has now issued a plea to the public to think carefully about where they seek treatment for non-emergencies which clog up the system and prevent them responding.

It comes after a collision involving a motorcyclist and a pedestrian in Victoria Road North, Southsea, at about 6.20pm on Friday.
The pedestrian, a 56-year-old woman, suffered leg injuries and cuts to the head and was unable to be moved from the scene for 90 minutes until an ambulance came.
The male motorcyclist was uninjured.
Police Sergeant Rob Sob Sutton said: ‘Officers responded to a report of a motorcycle colliding with a pedestrian on Victoria Road North near the junction with Bailey’s Road.
‘Due to circumstances beyond our control, there was a delay in the ambulance being able to reach the injured pedestrian.
‘An off-duty doctor assisted officers at the scene.’
Sgt Sutton said while it was unfortunate it took so long to get an ambulance, he understood the pressure placed on the emergency services.
He said officers eventually saw an ambulance passing by and called it over to take the woman to hospital.
He said: ‘An ambulance was eventually flagged down by one of our officers.
‘The injured woman was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital and the road was reopened shortly before 8pm.’
Police cordoned off the road and traffic was diverted down Winston Churchill Avenue until 8pm.
A spokeswoman for South Central Ambulance Service said that there had been ‘significant demand’ on the service last night.
She said: ‘All of our ambulances were fully tasked so they were waiting to find one to send to the person.
‘It is down to an awful lot of people ringing 999.’
The ambulance which was flagged down by police officers at the scene had been responding to another incident but was stood down.
The spokeswoman added that if the woman was seriously injured, the call would have been reprioritised.