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Ambulance service says only call 999 in an emergency following ‘extremely busy’ festive season

Ambulance service says 'only call 999 in an emergency' following ‘extremely busy’ festive season

People are being urged to only call 999 in a serious or life-threatening emergency following an ‘extremely busy’ festive season for ambulance crews in Berkshire.

The South Central Ambulance Service, which serves Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Hampshire, received 1,697 calls on Christmas Day.

This represented a 7.4 per cent increase from the 1,571 emergency calls made on December 25 last year.

Nearly 2000 calls were made to 999 on Boxing Day compared to 1,744 the previous year, marking a 12.4 per cent rise.

The following day the ambulance tweeted that its 999 team is ‘extremely busy’ and issued advice on when people should make an emergency call.

A SCAS spokesperson said: “We have been encouraging people with non life-threatening illnesses or injuries to use NHS 111 – either the online service (111.nhs.uk) or by calling 111 – as well as making use of their GP practice and other urgent treatment centres that have remained available.

“Our staff and volunteers are working incredibly hard to support patients and their families and we would urge people to only call 999 if it is a serious or life-threatening emergency, such as someone unconscious and/or not breathing, severe chest pains, symptoms of stroke, severe bleeding or burns.”

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