Too Many Unnecessary 999 Calls In Wales

22 July 2014, 17:49

The Welsh Ambulance Service says they are getting tied up with non urgent calls.

More than 31,000 calls like that were made in the last 12 months with only 3 resulting in someone being taken to hospital.

Richard Lee is a paramedic.  He gave us an idea of the sort of calls they have received: "Things like people who had a ring stuck on their finger, somebody whose daughter who had been drinking water out of dogs bowl or someone who had a blister on their foot."

The service is reminding us that we should only call 999 in an emergency as call handlers are spending essential time on non urgent calls.

Richard said: "While they're dealing with non urgent calls - like the person who called us to ask if the green part of a potato is poisonous or not - they're not available to answer the phone to someone who is having a heart attack or a stroke.

"We have mechanisms to pass those calls to nurses within the control room to give advice but, of course, taking the call takes time, catagorising the call takes time and while they're doing that they can't be dealing with the next emergency call that presents".

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