Friday, 5 December 2014

Paramedics in Hounslow record their busiest ever week



London Ambulance Service says it has had to look to Australia for new paramedics such is the growing demand from patients in the capital


Paramedics in Hounslow attended to a record number of seriously ill and injured patients last week.
London Ambulance Service crews last week responded to 343 urgent 'category A' incidents across the borough, making it the busiest week in their history.
Throughout last month, they responded to 1,372 such calls - an increase of 17.6 per cent from November 2013.
Last week was also the service's busiest week for category A calls across London as a whole, with 10,187 patients treated - up 10 per cent on last year.
As well as launching the alcohol campaign Party People, in a bid to reduce drunken call outs, the LAS will welcome 1,000 new front-line staff next year to deal with the growing demand.
Its director of operations Jason Killens urged people only to call in a genuine emergency, so paramedics could concentrate their efforts on those who truly needed attention.
"In contrast to these life threatening incidents, Londoners have also been asking for an emergency ambulance on blue lights for a cat with a broken leg, a person with a tissue in his ear and a woman with period pain," he said.
"Our highly skilled clinicians respond to life and death situations daily but we also receive many calls from patients who don't need an emergency ambulance. As always, we're asking Londoners to use us wisely and only call us in a genuine emergency."
Such is the demand for trained staff, the LAS has had to look Down Under, with 175 Australian paramedics due to join next month.
The service has also introduced a new clinical triage to sort the genuine emergencies from the time-wasters.
It aims to refer a tenth of the 35,000 emergency calls it receives during an average week to NHS 111 or give them additional advice over the phone rather than dispatching an ambulance.
"We will continue to prioritise our ambulance crews so we get to the most seriously ill or injured patients first. But Londoners with less serious injuries and illnesses should call NHS 111, visit their GP or pharmacist, or alternatively make their own way to hospital," said Mr Killens.

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