The Service under pressure

Bromley ambulance crew in snowThe London Ambulance Service is still under pressure in south east London after demand for ambulances rose by 30 per cent at the weekend.

Staff faced a number of challenges on one of the Service’s busiest weekends for four years as difficult, icy road conditions made it harder to reach some patients. And with the cold weather set to continue, Londoners are being urged to take extra care and only dial 999 in an emergency.

South London’s Assistant Director of Operations Philip de Bruyn said: “Much of last week’s heavy snowfall has now turned to ice across south and south east London making pavements very slippery and a lot of minor roads inaccessible.

“That’s presenting our staff with a number of challenges when trying to reach patients so I’d urge people to choose well and use the ambulance service wisely. Anyone who does need an emergency ambulance should call 999, but people with more minor illnesses and injuries should consider other options first, such as calling NHS Direct on 0845 46 47, or visiting a local pharmacist, NHS walk-in centre or minor injuries unit, or GPsurgery.

Notes to editors

  • More information on how to stay well in the winter can be found at www.nhs.uk/Livewell/winterhealth
  • For further information about the London Ambulance Service or this news release please contact the communications department on 020 7783 2286. 
  • Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ldn_ambulance
  • The total number of 999 calls on 4 and 5 December was compared with the equivalent weekend in November (6 and 7 November)

Primary care trust

Number of 999 calls on 6 and 7 November

Number of 999 calls on 4 and 5 December

% increase

Bexley

124

161

30%

Lewisham

192

236

23%

Bromley

178

212

19%

Greenwich

169

181

7%

London

8,088

9,817

21%