Misuse costs lives
40% of the 999 calls that your local ambulance service receives are from patients who do not need to go to hospital. An ambulance attending a patient who could have used more appropriate healthcare services is not available to go to a person in a life-threatening emergency.
Just think - your life, or the life of someone you care about, could be put at risk.
On average, there is only one ambulance per 23,000 people during the day, and one per 35,000 people at night available in our region. So, make sure you need us before you call.
To help you understand when you should call us or use an alternative healthcare provider, please consider the following:
For medical emergencies, such as
- Chest pain
- Severe breathing difficulty
- Severe blood loss
- Blacking out
Dial 999 immediately
For other illnesses and injuries
- Call 111 for advice, alternatively visit the NHS Choices website
- Contact your GP or out-of-hours GP service for other illnesses.
- Seek advice from your pharmacist for self-care
- Make your own way to your local A&E, minor injuries unit or walk-in centre for minor injuries
999 Misuse Costs Lives' campaign
The Trust's '999 Misuse Costs Lives' campaign was launched in January 2012 in response to SCAS receiving 1,235 hoax calls and many more inappropriate calls during 2011. It is designed to raise awareness of appropriate use of the ambulance service, to encourage people to access the service appropriately and to reduce inappropriate demand on, and misuse of the ambulance service.
The campaign includes a viral video entitled '999 South Central - Misuse Costs Lives' hosted by YouTube. This video and a further viral video on the trust's Crews' Views have received in excess of 75,000 hits.
The campaign is supported through Twitter@SCAS999 and by a pro-active media campaign in the local, regional and national media.
The trust hopes that our '999 South Central' campaign will encourage everyone to use their local ambulance service responsibly.