AMBULANCE crews have seen an increase in emergency call outs since Covid restrictions eased, figures reveal - with the South Western Ambulance Service attending more than 2,700 calls a day.

According to figures from the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT), crews have responded to an average of 2,760 emergency call-outs a day during the two-week period leading to April 25 - which equates to 19,300 incidents per week.

This represents an increase of around eight per cent compared to the number of incidents it dealt with during the end of March, prior to the most recent easing of lockdown restrictions.

Due to the rise in call outs SWASFT is asking for members of the public to only call 999 in a life-threatening emergency.

Operations Officer Michael Anning said: "We're asking people to behave sensibly, and to think 111 for urgent medical help and advice.

"Since the stay-at-home rule was lifted, we have noticed an increase in ambulance activity, and we’ve had a number of busy days recently.

"So please only call 999 in a genuine life-threatening emergency, so we can be available for those who need us most."

SWASFT has dealt with a significant increase in activity since April 12 when the Government eased lockdown restrictions to allow outdoor pubs, shops, gyms and hairdressers to reopen.

Bosses said there had been a noticeable rise in the number of incidents in public places.

The NHS continues to encourage everyone to do all they can to keep themselves and others safe during the ongoing pandemic.

This includes following the 'hands, face, space and fresh air' guidance, and abiding by the restrictions still in place.

People should call 999 for an ambulance in a medical emergency. This is when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk, including if someone has stopped breathing, is unconscious or has serious bleeding.

People who have an urgent medical problem and are not sure what to do should contact NHS 111.


t: 01305 830999

e: sam.mckeown

twitter: @SamMcKReporter