People asked to take strain off Yorkshire Ambulance Service

Gazette & Herald: People asked to take strain off ambulance service People asked to take strain off ambulance service

AMBULANCE bosses are encouraging people to consider whether to call 999 if feeling unwell during the remainder of the festive period.

To reduce the strain on the service as demand increases, Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust has asked people to phone 999 for an ambulance in a medical emergency only, when it is obvious that you or another person has a serious or life-threatening illness or injury and need time-critical help.

People with minor illnesses and injuries should visit their pharmacist, GP, walk-in-centre, minor injuries unit or phone NHS 111.

David Williams, deputy director of operations at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: “The festive season and winter itself are traditionally challenging times for us.

“While we will always respond to medical emergencies where it is believed someone needs time-critical help, we often find our crews are caught up dealing with patients with non-urgent conditions where alternative care would have been more appropriate.

“These calls divert emergency staff away from those with potentially life-threatening conditions such as a heart attack or stroke and can cause dangerous delays.”

An ambulance should be called for people with conditions including chest pain, difficulty in breathing, loss of consciousness, heavy loss of blood, severe burns and scalds, choking, fitting/convulsions, severe allergic reaction and head injuries.

Visit yas.nhs.uk/Calling999/Choose_Well.html for a list of local services

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