17th November 2014 – 8am – Steve Parry/Chris Kowalik
West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) is supporting ‘Self Care Week’ which takes place from 17th – 23rd November with the aim of helping people take care of themselves and look after their own health.
WMAS receives up to 3,000 999 calls each day. A high percentage of these patients could have treated themselves for injury or illness or referred themselves to alternative health care providers.
Video: Mark Gough:
Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer, Mark Gough, said: “As we approach the festive period, traditionally our busiest time of the year, the pressure on our 999 service becomes immense.
“If patients are in need of an ambulance because they are suffering a life threatening injury or illness, then we need to get to them fast. Unfortunately, an increasing number of people call 999 for an ambulance for less serious reasons, which means we find it difficult to get to those vital cases.”
“There are many occasions when we refer callers to more appropriate health care providers such as NHS 111, a GP, Walk-in centres or pharmacists. In some situations self-care is possible with the use of a well-stocked first aid cabinet or medical cabinet.”
This year’s campaign theme is “Self-care for life – be healthy this winter” and aims to raise awareness of how many common ailments don’t require an ambulance, and that contacting alternative health providers for advice and treatment is often your best bet.