Influx of tourists and easing of lockdown blamed for rise in emergency incidents

The trust has been responding to a high number of incidents throughout the start of August 2020

The easing of lockdown paired with an influx of tourists is being blamed for an increase in emergency incidents, according to the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT).

The trust is reminding people to only call 999 in a medical emergency after seeing a hike in the number of emergency calls in recent weeks.

Paramedics have been responding to a high number of incidents during the the start of August - much higher than the same period in 2019.

The service blames this on the easing of lockdown and an influx of tourists.

The trust has been responding to a high number of incidents throughout the start of August 2020.

Now the trust is reminding people to only call 999 in a medical emergency when someone is seriously ill or injured, and their life is at risk. SWASFT dealt with 14,340 incidents between Friday 7 and Tuesday 11 August, an increase of 13.8% compared to the same time period last year. 

14,340

Incidents between Friday 7 and Tuesday 11 August

13.8%

Increase compared to the same time period last year

It warns that continued high call volumes could delay help to those patients most in need of emergency care. 

The number of calls in recent weeks has been compared to the period between Christmas and New Year.

The busyness in recent weeks has been compared to the period between Christmas and New Year.

Our activity levels have been higher in recent weeks, with the easing of lockdown and many visitors coming into the South West.  In recent days we have experienced a very high level of demand – similar to what would normally be expected between Christmas and New Year. 

A SWASFT spokesperson

A SWASFT spokesperson said: “Our activity levels have been higher in recent weeks, with the easing of lockdown and many visitors coming into the South West. “In recent days we have experienced a very high level of demand – similar to what would normally be expected between Christmas and New Year. “We would remind people always to call 999 if someone is seriously ill or injured, or their life is at risk."People should always call 999 if someone:

  • Has stopped breathing

  • Has severe chest pain

  • Is choking

  • Having a stroke

  • Suffering serious blood loss

  • Is unconscious.