Murray MacGregor – Tuesday 3rd January 2023 – 11.35am.
The New Year period proved to be one of the busiest on record for the 111 service, but one of the quietest for 999.
Over the period 31st December to 2nd January, the Trust took 16,694 call to the 111 service, up 78.5% on the previous year.
For the same period, the 999 service say 15.1% fall in emergency calls, taking 13,113 calls.
It was a similar picture on New Years Eve with the quietest year since the Trust was set up. In total, between 6.00pm on the 31st and 6.00am on the 1st, the Trust took 1,710 call, compared to 3,002 the previous year, the busiest ever.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “I would like to start by thanking the hundreds of staff who worked over this period, many giving up time with their family and friends to work additional shifts. It’s not just those on the road, but also the team in our control rooms and also the staff who support these colleagues in areas such as vehicle preparation, mechanics, stores, distribution and IT; it is a real team effort.
“I would also like to thank the public for heeding our requests that they use services such as 111 on line (www.111.nhs.uk) , speaking to a pharmacist or their GP and only using the 999 service is a patient is critically unwell or there is a risk to life.
“This has been an incredibly challenging period for all parts of the NHS. The ambulance service relies on each part of the health and social care system working together so that our ambulances can get to patients in the community quickly. Sadly, the pressures we are seeing in health and social care lead to long hospital handover delays with our crews left caring for patients that need admitting to hospital rather than responding to the next call. The result is that our crews are delayed reaching patients.
“We are working incredibly hard with all of our NHS and social care partners to prevent these delays, looking at new ways to safely hand over patients quickly so that our crews can respond more rapidly and save more lives.”