An ambulance trust has declared a critical incident due to “extreme pressures” on its services.
The South Western Ambulance Service, which covers an area from Gloucestershire to Cornwall and across to Dorset and Wiltshire, said some patients may wait longer for an ambulance while others may be advised to seek alternative medical treatment. The service responded to an average of 2,913 incidents a day last week, compared with 2,816 incidents a day between April 12 and May 16.
We have declared a critical incident due to extreme pressures on our service.— South Western Ambulance Service (@swasFT) May 30, 2021
As a result, some patients may wait longer for an ambulance while others could be advised to access alternative services if their call is not life-threatening.
On Saturday the trust responded to nearly 3,200 incidents – the highest level of activity in 2021 – and was predicting similar numbers on Sunday. The trust normally deals with around 2,650 emergency incidents a day.
“If you have a non life-threatening but urgent medical problem, please call NHS 111 who can advise you on the most appropriate place for care and also call an ambulance if necessary,” a trust spokesman said. “Our hardworking ambulance crews, control room staff and volunteers will continue to prioritise anyone who is critically ill and ask that you help us help you by only calling 999 in a life-threatening emergency.”