'999, I've got a hangover' – rising population and inappropriate calls putting strain on paramedics

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AMBULANCE calls are rising by more than 200 per year – as population rises increase pressure on the emergency services.


Statistics show the number of emergency calls made to the ambulance service have risen by almost 2,000 between 2012 and 2017.

Operations manager for the Ambulance Service Gordon Hunt said the increased number of call-outs could be attributed to the ageing and rising population.

However he also said one explanation was due to the amount of people dialling 999 for the wrong reason. The service is attempting to educate Islanders about when to call the emergency number.

He said: ‘In terms of staff numbers we are doing well at the moment, we have increased the numbers by five.

‘That is good to deal with the increase in call volume which has added pressure. Paramedics and shifts are getting busier.

‘The increases show a rise of around 200 each year which does bring more pressure.

‘There are a number of things it comes down to, the population is increasing and the population is ageing.’

Last year ambulance bosses revealed they were receiving calls for grazes, runny noses and even hangovers.


Mr Hunt added: ‘One thing that increases call numbers is people dialling 999 for the wrong reason and we are trying to educate people about that.

‘We have the big red signs people have seen on the side of ambulances that tells you when to and when not to ring 999.’

Mr Hunt also urged people to use other avenues for minor things rather than call in an emergency.

Other options include self care, calling a GP or a pharmacy, community services, routine care and calling an out of hours GP.


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