As an emergency ambulance service, we prioritise the most life-threatening situations to ensure we keep saving more lives.
From December 2021 to February 2022, we received just under 376,000 calls to our 999 service. Of those that called, 20% did so because they or somebody they were with was having a cardiac arrest, heart attack, breathing issues, unconscious, or had traumatic injuries or a stroke. Whilst this list is not exhaustive of when to call 999, it highlights the types of incidents that will take priority.
Our time is precious and so is yours, so it’s important to us that when you need us the most, we are there for you. This year, we launch our winter campaign Every Second Counts to continue to support and inform our public on which service best suits your medical needs.
As a region, we are already starting to experience the impact of the national cost-of-living crisis, which could affect both physical and mental health conditions as we face these challenges together. We want to ensure you understand what our services are for and when to use them.
Our emergency call handlers can receive over 4000 calls to our 999 service on a daily basis which can increase over the winter months. To make certain all these calls are being directed to the right service, we ask you the public to stop and think:
- Is this a life-threatening illness or injury? Think 999
- Is this an urgent injury or illness? Think 111 online
- Do you feel unwell or is an injury causing you pain? Think walk-in centre or GP
- Can you treat your symptoms at home? Think self-care, first-aid kit and well-stocked medicine cabinets
The options to support you when you are unwell or injured are there, and this helps emergency services, A&E departments and minor injury units to get you the right care, when you need it the most.
Calling 999 with minor injuries, general unwellness or queries around medication can block the service line and could prevent people in life-threatening emergencies getting through to our call-handlers.
So before you ring 999…think…is there a threat to life? If not…think 111 online.
That way we can answer and help those that need us most, faster.
Help us save more lives.
To learn more about the campaign visit: Every Second Counts – NWAS – North West Ambulance Service