South Central Ambulance ends critical incident caused by surge in emergency calls

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
It lasted for over two days

South Central Ambulance has ended its critical incident status after the service dealt with a surge in 999 calls.

Today (26 January) at 10am, the service declared the incident had finished, it was triggered at 16:20pm on Tuesday (23 January).

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Staff working for the emergency response team had to cope with a a significant rise in 999 calls requesting ambulances. SCAS has revealed a number of calls came from the most seriously ill and injured patients, at a time when many of the trust’s ambulance crews were experiencing long delays handing over patients at local hospitals.

Responders from South Central AmbulanceResponders from South Central Ambulance
Responders from South Central Ambulance

Mark Ainsworth, executive director of operations at SCAS, said: “Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our staff and volunteers, combined with support from our NHS and other partners across the South Central region, I am pleased we have been able to stand down our critical incident and our ambulance response times have improved.

“I would urge the public to continue to only call 999 over the coming weekend and into next week if you, or someone you’re with, is suffering a very serious or life-threatening emergency that needs immediate help. Hospitals remain under pressure and cold weather could see another increase in 999 calls from people with serious breathing or heart problems.

Read More
HPV vaccine uptake among Milton Keynes girls remains well below pre-pandemic lev...

“We will continue to focus our efforts first and foremost on patients who are in an immediately life-threatening or potentially life-threatening condition, and this means there may continue to be times when patients with less serious emergencies may have to wait longer than the two or three hours we aim to be with them by.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“It would really help our teams working 24-7 over the weekend if anyone waiting for an ambulance doesn’t call us back on 999 unless the patient’s condition worsens, or if you’re able to make your own way to hospital or other treatment centre with the help of friends and family, please do so and call us to cancel your ambulance.”

However, the trust warns that any unexpected increase in 999 demand or increase in the length of time ambulances are waiting to hand over patients at hospitals, could see the critical incident status reinstated. Residents are advised to use alternative services like calling 111, pharmacies, and walk-in treatment centres.

Related topics: