Examples of recent calls to its control room demonstrate reasons not to call for an ambulance.
On one occasions, a woman reported finding a motionless body that turned out to be an abandoned beanbag. She spotted what she thought was a person curled up in a sleeping bag beside a bin, but did not check what it actually was due to social distancing concerns.
A paramedic was sent to the incident, only to discover the discarded cushion instead of a patient on the street.
On another occasion, a man called for an ambulance because he was worried he had caught a sexually transmitted infection from a kissing a woman.
Other calls were made because:
- A man wanted bandaging for an ingrown toenail.
- A man’s central heating wasn’t working and he was cold.
- A caller was concerned a woman would overheat because she couldn’t take her coat off
Hundreds of 999 calls are made to SWASFT every day involving patients who do not have serious or life-threatening conditions. A spokesperson for SWASFT said, “Our 999 service should only be used when someone is seriously injured or ill, and their life is at risk.
“Inappropriate calls are a waste of our time, put additional pressure on our limited resources, and may mean we cannot reach those who are most in need of our help.
“Please ‘Make the right call’ this winter. If you someone is unconscious, not breathing, or has serious bleeding, 999 is the right number to call.
“But if you call for an ambulance when you don’t really need one, you are misusing the 999 service and may well be delaying our emergency care to others.”
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