Only phone 999 in emergencies not for toothache or medication, warn health bosses

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust Chief Executive David Whiting.
Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust Chief Executive David Whiting.

HEALTH bosses are reminding Doncaster residents only to phone 999 for an ambulance over Christmas in genuine emergencies.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service has issued the warning after its emergency operators have received a number of inappropriate calls.

They include a man having trouble with his contact lenses, someone complaining of toothache and another asking where they could get medication from.

Ambulance bosses say such calls are putting unnecessary pressure on services potential putting lives at risk.

David Whiting, chief executive of Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust said:

“We will always respond to medical emergencies where it is believed someone needs time-critical help, but our crews often arrive to find people merely require treatment or advice for a minor condition. These calls divert emergency resources away from those with potentially life-threatening conditions such as a heart attack or stroke and can cause dangerous delays.

“We expect demand for our service to increase further with more people being out and about to celebrate the festivities, so if we can reduce the number of inappropriate calls, this would be of great benefit to us and the patients we serve.”

People with minor ailments and injuries are being encouraged to consider alternative health services such as GPs, walk-in health centres or pharmacists or NHS Direct.

Doncaster’s walk-in 8am to 8pm health centre is in the Flying Scotsman Centre in St Sepulchre Gate West in the town centre. It is open 365 days a year. Call 01302 645544.

Call NHS Direct on 0845 4647.