Ambulance service braced for busy weekend

People dialling 999 make have to wait longer for a response this weekend
People dialling 999 make have to wait longer for a response this weekend

With further cold weather forecast for Sussex this weekend, people are being urged to only call 999 for an ambulance if they are facing a life-threatening or serious emergency.

With the possibility of snow in places across the region, South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) has warned that demand on its services is likely to again be high.

People not in serious need of treatment have been told they are likely to wait longer for a response.

SECAmb regional operations manager James Pavey said: “We’re asking for the public’s continued support as demand on us and the wider NHS remains high.

“We’re expecting a busy weekend and know that the colder weather and possible snow can make things more challenging.

“We will be prioritising our response to patients in the greatest need and at times people who are not facing a serious or life-threatening emergency may be asked to seek alternatives to an ambulance response.

“As always we would also like to remind people to make use of the alternatives to dialling 999 if they are not facing a serious emergency including calling NHS 111, booking a GP appointment or speaking to a pharmacist.

“All our staff and volunteers will, as ever, be working extremely hard to help people and we appreciate the continued support of the public at this busy time.”

Details of how to prepare for and protect others during cold weather can be found on the trust’s website http://www.secamb.nhs.uk/about_us/news/2017/help_us_to_help_you.aspx