Lives being put at risk: Calling 999 to get a lift home

MHBG-17-01-13 South Central Ambulance Service ''South Central Ambulance service'Ambulance'Logo ENGPNL00120131107173858

MHBG-17-01-13 South Central Ambulance Service ''South Central Ambulance service'Ambulance'Logo ENGPNL00120131107173858

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Late-night drinkers who have called for an ambulance to drive them home in the early hours have been condemned by the service.

South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust says lives are being put at risk when 999 is called inappropriately.

The service responded to a call at the weekend after someone had been found unconscious – but six minutes after crews arrived on the scene, the caller was fully awake and requesting a lift home.

This is not the only way the service has been abused, says Will Hancock, chief executive of SCAS.

Some of the more unusual and inappropriate reasons people have called 999 include broken fingernails, burning caused by hot food, or to complain about noisy neighbours.

There have even been requests to change light bulbs, fix broken TV remote controls, attend to sick pets and, because the caller has no credit on their mobile phone, to call their GP.

Mr Hancock said: “Thankfully calls such as this are few and far between and in most instances we are able to establish those inappropriate calls before we arrive.

“This enables us to ensure that resources are used for serious and life threatening emergencies only.

“I would like to encourage everyone to take a look at our hard hitting campaign film ‘999 South Central’ which shows just how lives are put at risk when 999 is called inappropriately.

“Everyone at SCAS is committed to continually improving the service we provide to the community and we would urge members of the public to help us and only use 999 when it is absolutely necessary.”

Watch ‘999 South Central’ at www.999southcentral
.co.uk and think before you dial.