PARAMEDICS have warned of an increase in 999 calls in Dorset and the south west.

South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) says not all calls warrant an emergency response.

Now it is warning people to only call in emergencies under its Choose Well campaign.

A spokesman said: “The trust is committed to delivering the right care in the right place at the right time. However, not all of the calls we receive warrant an ambulance response and the ambulance service should only be used for emergency situations.

“Examples include choking, chest pain, stroke, serious blood loss and unconsciousness. Using the ambulance service only to tend to the critically ill and injured helps ensure a quick response to those in genuine need.”

The spokesman added: “There are a wide variety of healthcare services available for a range of conditions and it is important that people choose well, especially during periods when demand for the ambulance service is high.”

Alternative healthcare options for less serious conditions include visiting a minor injury unit (MIU) or NHS walk-in centre, making an appointment to see the GP, visiting the pharmacist or calling NHS Direct on 0845 4647.

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