02 February 2009
Londoners are being urged to use their ambulance
service wisely and only call 999 for life-threatening emergencies
after heavy snowfall in the capital today.
The extreme weather has put the London Ambulance Service under
severe pressure, with more than 2,200 calls received between
midnight and midday today – compared to less than 1,500 in the same
period last Monday.
The combination of this and difficult driving conditions has
meant the Service has taken the decision to only respond to
life-threatening calls. The number of these has also been much
higher than normal, with more than 400 responded to up to
Callers with less serious conditions are being offered advice on
how to access care.
Acting Director of Operations Richard Webber said: “The extreme
weather has placed the London Ambulance Service under severe
pressure today and our priority is to get to those patients with
life-threatening illnesses or injuries as quickly as possible.
“Due to current levels of demand, we will, until further notice,
only be sending ambulances to patients across the capital with
life-threatening illnesses or injuries.
“We would urge Londoners to use their ambulance service wisely
and only call 999 in the event of a life-threatening emergency.
“Those people whose call is not an emergency
should consider other healthcare options, including self-care at
home and calling NHS Direct on 0845 4647, rather than dialling
Note to editors
- For further information on the London Ambulance Service or this
news release please contact the Communications Department on 020