News : 999 Calls Already On the Rise
Oldham, UK, Nov 13, 2015 -- 999 calls have already started to increase ahead of the busy winter season, according to the North-West Ambulance Service.
The Trust has put in place robust plans to deal with the challenges associated with next few months, including bad weather, the Christmas party season and New Year’s Eve.
To help with winter pressures, 16 additional ambulances and 19 rapid response vehicles have gone on the road throughout the region and volunteer groups such as the Red Cross and St John Ambulance are providing additional support.
NWAS figures show that the Trust is dealing with a 25 per cent increase in "Red" calls — calls concerning a life-threatening or potentially life-threatening condition which have a national eight minute response target.
NWAS director of operations Derek Cartwright said: "In previous years we used to see a peak of calls in the winter and this would then drop in the warmer months before starting to climb again as we approached December.
"This is no longer the case. We consistently see high levels of life-threatening 999 calls throughout the year so instead of dropping in the summer, it stays the same and then increases even further in the following winter."
He added that the Trust is not alone with other ambulance services across the country also seeing similar increases in calls and have needed to change the way they operate to meet demand.
Due to a shortage of paramedics in the UK and changes to training, NWAS has made filling vaccines at the Trust one of its top priority with 186 road staff and 52 call centre staff appointed since April, 2015.
In order to free up more resources to attend life-threatening emergencies, the Trust has made a concerted effort to improve its triaging of 999 calls.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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The North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust is the second largest ambulance service in the country, providing 24 hour, 365 days a year accident and emergency services to those in need of emergency medical treatment and transport.
Published: Monday, November 16, 2015