Timewasters like the ones who call 999 because they want to know if the green part of a potato is poisonous are 'putting lives at risk'

999 timewasters 'putting lives at risk'

999 timewasters 'putting lives at risk'

First published in News
Last updated

A WOMAN in Newport called 999 after finding she didn’t have enough money to buy a train ticket.

This was just one of the thousands of non-urgent calls the Welsh Ambulance Service took in the last 12 months which prompted them to remind people not to call 999 unless it is a genuine emergency.

The service took 31,219 non-urgent calls in the last year, only 670 of which required an ambulance and just three of which resulted in a patient being taken to hospital.

They included a woman who dialled 999 to ask if the green part of a potato was poisonous and a caller whose daughter had drunk water from a dog’s bowl.

One woman called 999 because her boiler had broken and she had no credit to call the gas board, while one man said he needed an ambulance because he had a ring stuck on his finger.

The Trust is urging people to choose the appropriate service for their healthcare needs so that call takers and ambulance crews are not tied up unnecessarily when a call to a genuine emergency comes in.

Richard Lee, head of clinical services at the Welsh Ambulance Service, said: “We don’t want to deter anyone from calling 999, but we want them to think twice before they do.

“When people misuse the service it means our precious time is being taken away from someone who really does need our help. During peak periods, like the summer, every non-essential call has the potential to delay a response to a serious emergency.

“Please remember only to dial 999 if someone is seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk.”

The thousands of non-urgent calls received via 999 last year include a Newport woman who didn’t have enough money to buy a train ticket and a Tredegar woman with a cast on her leg and wanted it taken off.

“The emergency healthcare system across Wales is facing unparalleled pressure,” said Richard Lee.

“We are asking the public to support NHS Wales’ Choose Well campaign to ensure busy emergency services are available for those who need them most urgently. If you think you need medical attention, there are a host of other options you can consider.”

For advice and treatment of most illnesses, visit your GP, or contact NHS Direct Wales on 0845 4647 if you are feeling unwell and are unsure what to do.

Go to nhsdirect.wales.nhs.uk to visit the NHS Direct Wales website, and choosewellwales.org.uk for more information on the Choose Well campaign.

Comments (4)

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7:11am Tue 22 Jul 14

Dolieboy says...

Why not name shame and fine them about £500. That may stimulate any brain cells they have.
Why not name shame and fine them about £500. That may stimulate any brain cells they have. Dolieboy
  • Score: 4

9:34am Tue 22 Jul 14

displayed says...

Every one a winner folks, honestly you couldn't make it up, or maybe u could...........
Every one a winner folks, honestly you couldn't make it up, or maybe u could........... displayed
  • Score: 1

3:04pm Tue 22 Jul 14

gingertom says...

http://www.ambulance
.wales.nhs.uk/assets
/documents/6ca133a5-
3047-449e-b085-37536
0163a506351155047360
55784.pdf

Get Involved

The Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust (WAST) values the opinions of patients and the public and would like people to get involved in all aspects of the service. This may include making decisions about their own care and treatment, to giving feedback on the services they receive and even influencing future plans.

People can give us feedback and suggestions about the service or even become more involved by taking part in surveys, reviewing leaflets through our Readers Panel, attend local events and sharing experiences by giving us their patient story.

Visit our Partners in Healthcare page to learn more about the work of the Partners in Healthcare team who involve different people and communities within the Trust. To become more involved in our work you can join the Partners in Healthcare Network, and you can help influence services and make sure your views are being heard.

If you just wish to give feedback or make a suggestion about any of our services including the emergency ambulance service, patient transport services or NHS Direct Wales, then ‘Have your Say’.

Alternatively, if you would like to give feedback on any NHS experience you may have had, please click here to view the NHS Wales Experience Questionnaire. Print off the form and when completed return to PIH team, NHS Direct Wales, FREEPOST NAT 6805, Swansea, SA7 9ZZ.

We produce a newsletter called Network News twice a year which informs colleagues and members of the public what we have been working on over the last few months. Visit out Partners in Healthcare Library to view our newsletter. We also have an audio version available, of the latest edition, which is the Winter 2011 edition.

There is a section called Learning Disability Zone where you will find lots of information and games.

To learn more about how the Welsh Ambulance service educates and informs the public on how to appropriately use 999 and other health messages it supports, visit campaigns.
http://www.ambulance .wales.nhs.uk/assets /documents/6ca133a5- 3047-449e-b085-37536 0163a506351155047360 55784.pdf Get Involved The Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust (WAST) values the opinions of patients and the public and would like people to get involved in all aspects of the service. This may include making decisions about their own care and treatment, to giving feedback on the services they receive and even influencing future plans. People can give us feedback and suggestions about the service or even become more involved by taking part in surveys, reviewing leaflets through our Readers Panel, attend local events and sharing experiences by giving us their patient story. Visit our Partners in Healthcare page to learn more about the work of the Partners in Healthcare team who involve different people and communities within the Trust. To become more involved in our work you can join the Partners in Healthcare Network, and you can help influence services and make sure your views are being heard. If you just wish to give feedback or make a suggestion about any of our services including the emergency ambulance service, patient transport services or NHS Direct Wales, then ‘Have your Say’. Alternatively, if you would like to give feedback on any NHS experience you may have had, please click here to view the NHS Wales Experience Questionnaire. Print off the form and when completed return to PIH team, NHS Direct Wales, FREEPOST NAT 6805, Swansea, SA7 9ZZ. We produce a newsletter called Network News twice a year which informs colleagues and members of the public what we have been working on over the last few months. Visit out Partners in Healthcare Library to view our newsletter. We also have an audio version available, of the latest edition, which is the Winter 2011 edition. There is a section called Learning Disability Zone where you will find lots of information and games. To learn more about how the Welsh Ambulance service educates and informs the public on how to appropriately use 999 and other health messages it supports, visit campaigns. gingertom
  • Score: -1

3:06pm Tue 22 Jul 14

gingertom says...

http://www.ambulance
.wales.nhs.uk/Defaul
t.aspx?pageId=66&lan
=en
http://www.ambulance .wales.nhs.uk/Defaul t.aspx?pageId=66&lan =en gingertom
  • Score: -1

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