11:52AM, Wednesday 21 June 2017
Paramedics have urged the public to only call 999 in ‘life-threatening or serious emergencies’.
The call from the South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) comes following warm weather which has seen a sharp increase in demand.
Sunday marked the busiest day for crews so far this year and higher than average demand is expected to continue for the next week.
‘Red calls’ for symptoms including chest pain, breathing difficulties, unconsciousness and severe blood loss will be prioritised.
However, SCAS has apologised to anyone reporting ‘less serious illnesses and injuries’ who has to wait longer than usual.
In a statement, SCAS said: "We are anticipating that there will be delays reaching some patients over the next few days, and to reduce these delays, we are increasing the number of ambulances we have available to respond to patients over this busy period.
"We would ask patients to, where possible, make their own way to a hospital, minor injuries unit or other treatment centre. "Where this is not possible, please do bear with us if we are unable to get to you as quickly as we would like. If you are uncertain if you require an ambulance, then please call our NHS 111 service who will assess your condition and advise you of the most appropriate action required, which may include sending an ambulance.
"We would like to thank our staff who continue to deliver the best possible patient care during these extreme conditions and high demand for our services."
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