- West Country
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New figures show the west country's ambulance service dealt with a 38 per cent rise in the number of emergency calls over Christmas.
The South Western Ambulance Service was on the verge of declaring a "major incident" last weekend as they struggled to keep up with demand.
Last Saturday alone it dealt with 3,205 incidents calls to its 111 and 999 numbers - that's 883 more than on the same Saturday in 2013. The service say they will review planning for the festive period.
With warnings that the South Western Ambulance Service is under enormous pressure - especially over the Christmas period - we asked about your experiences with emergency health services in your area.
The response has been mainly positive, with overwhelming support for health workers themselves, though some are concerned that the service is overstretched.
Here is a selection of your thoughts.
There's a warning that emergency services in the West are close to breaking point.
The 999 service dealt with a record number of calls this weekend, with more than 3,500 on Saturday alone. The 111 service was also swamped with calls. Police cars were even being used to take people to hospital.
Our Health Correspondent Katie Rowlett reports:
Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust has revealed that people contacting its out-of-hours services have a funny idea of emergencies.
It comes as South Western Ambulance received an unprecedented number of calls over the weekend, putting the service under incredible pressure.
It says the following were among the top five reasons for people asking for help over the holiday.
- Request for repeat prescription
- Coughs and colds
Surely a pharmacist could have helped or these issues could have waited until GP surgeries re-opened?
Commenting on the pressure faced by South Western Ambulance Service over the holiday, the Liberal Democrat member of the Commons Health Select Committee, Andrew George said:
The South Western Ambulance Service which covers Bristol, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall says that it is on the verge of declaring a internal 'major incident'.
The average number of calls 999 takes from this area is 2,500 a day. Yesterday they took 3,500 calls.
Steve White, says the 111 service is overwhelmed and that the police force are being used to provide health care cover.