UNDER-pressure paramedics are reminding people to only call 999 in the event of an emergency over this Easter weekend, with ambulance services expecting a major increase in callouts.
Both South Central Ambulance Service – which covers Hampshire – and South East Coast Ambulance Service – which covers Sussex and further east – have issued the reminder to people after the services received more than 10,000 calls last year over the Easter period.
Staff will be working ‘extremely hard’ to ensure patients receive the help they require, but the services are urging people to prepare themselves in order to minimise the risk.
People are reminded that by dialling 111 – the NHS non-emergency number – they can get medical advice.
Andy Cashman – head of resilience and special operations at South East Coast Ambulance Services – said: ‘As ever, we’re expecting a very busy weekend and we know that all our staff will rise to the challenge of this increase in demand.
‘We’re urging people to help us by only dialling 999 in the event of a serious emergency. We will prioritise life-threatening calls, but anyone facing an emergency should not hesitate to call.’