Trust experiences its busiest day ever

Tuesday 6th March 2018 – 11.45am – Murray MacGregor.

West Midlands Ambulance Service has experienced its busiest day ever.

Yesterday, demand spiked to a new high with emergency call numbers topping out at 5,001; this is the first time it has ever reached the 5,000 mark.  As you can see in the graph above demand was higher than what would have been expected from 7 o’clock in the morning onwards.

To put this into context, the next busiest day, 1st January 2017 only saw 4,628 calls, some 373 calls less.  New Years Day is traditionally the busiest day of the year.

However, what is also of concern is that Sunday 4th March was the third busiest day ever, with 4,451 emergency calls received.

Trust Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “These are unprecedented call numbers; astonishingly, demand was almost 20% higher than we would have expected.

“It is a huge concern that so many people have seemingly ignored other NHS services and felt the need to dial 999.

“An increase in cases due to the snow was expected but the fact that call numbers have spiked upwards so sharply since that period is very worrying.

“We will be looking into the cases to try and work out whether there are any patterns or reasons behind such rises.

“Due to the snow, we had already put considerably more resources on duty than we would normally have done at this time, yet this was still not enough to deal with all of the cases in a timely manner.  For this I am sorry.

“Although we were able to resource all of the most serious incidents, unfortunately, some patients with less serious conditions did wait much longer than we would have wanted.

“I would like to place on record my thanks to the staff who have worked tirelessly over recent days, regularly going above and beyond what could reasonably have been expected to ensure patients got the care they needed.  Many staff volunteered to do additional overtime shifts, while others stayed late or started earlier to help out.

“Whether it is staff in our control rooms, on the frontline, maintaining and servicing the vehicles, ensuring consumables got through to hubs despite the weather; each member of my staff has done everything possible to ensure patient care was maintained at the highest level.

“I would also like to thank the many volunteers such as our community first responders, 4×4 organisations and members of the public who have helped us over recent days.  The sense of community has been extraordinary; seeing such generosity shows just how ‘Great’, Britain really is.”



  1. WMAS is driven by great team work/spirit and support from all involved.
    Proud/honoured to be part of that team achieving the outcomes of the last few days.

  2. Wmas we had a suicidal mental health crisis here and the mental health support services were not able to get to us at all so we had to phone an ambulance. I have contacted the head of child mental health services about it but that was our reason. There was no one else that could get to us.

  3. Well my Dad still waiting for an ambulance, after Ambulance called via 111 and a doctor visit the next day and still being told that he has to wait in agony with bruised possibly broken shoulder and hip or broken rib that may puncture lung, this is not an emergency they say, he just needs assesing.

    What’s happened to our NHS?

  4. A lot of people are attending hospitals as they are unable to see G.P. some are offered appts 2 weeks later there has been lots of stories referring to this on facebook.

  5. Thank you WMAS. I observed how busy you were on Sunday 4th March. I was at Heartlands Hospital A and E after calling 111 for advice. I was awaiting assessment and ultimate admission for a PE. I am a nurse of 26 years and had previously worked in A and E. I had never seen anything like the volume of patients arriving independently and ambulances arriving and waiting to hand over patients. The ED was simply crazily busy. The ED staff, paramedics, technicians and HALO staff all worked together fantastically to care for patients and relatives to the very best of their ability under ridiculously busy and stressful conditions. All done with a smile and professionalism from what I observed and experienced.
    So a huge thank you to you all. You are what makes the NHS great.

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