08 December 2015 - Ambulance Service Urges Patients to use 999 Sensibly and #MakeTheRightCall

Make The Right Call 999

North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) is urging people to #MakeTheRightCall this winter in order to free up ambulances for life-threatening emergencies during its busiest time of year.

The appeal follows a number of shocking 999 calls to the Service in recent weeks, including ones for spilt tea, a blocked nose, coming home from a night out and vomiting, being bitten by a feral cat, a ring stuck on a finger and one for a split finger nail.

The social media campaign launching today, Tuesday 8 December, uses the hashtag #MakeTheRightCall to encourage people to think twice before calling 999 and consider alternatives for minor illnesses and injuries.

Common unnecessary calls to 999 include cuts, sprains, vomiting and hangovers, with other recent examples of people calling with minor ailments such as groin pain, aching knees, and a nosebleed. All of which could have been better treated by a trip to a pharmacist, GP, walk-in centre or with self-care at home.

Derek Cartwright, Director of Operations for NWAS, said: “Less than half of our 999 calls are for life-threatening emergencies which means there are many patients that could better care by going elsewhere for treatment. The #MakeTheRightCall campaign aims to help people understand what their options are and where to find care for less-urgent illnesses and injuries.

“Only the most serious 999 calls will receive a fast ambulance response and therefore, those with minor injuries are likely to find it quicker and more convenient to make their own way to hospital or to use alternatives such as pharmacies, GPs, walk-in centres or self-care.”

The #MakeTheRightCall campaign is being launched ahead of the festive season and will continue into the New Year allowing social media users to get involved using the hashtag and by following @NWAmbulance on Twitter and ‘liking’ North West Ambulance Service on Facebook where there will be useful information, advice, web links and fun quizzes to get involved with.

Derek continues: “Social media users across the North West have been fantastic with getting involved in our previous campaigns including #Team999 and #FindTheDefib and we are calling upon you again to help us spread this message far and wide as making the right call really can help save lives!”