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Busy weekend for the ambulance service despite a dip in calls during the Wimbledon final

The London Ambulance Service took over 11,000 emergency calls this weekend as temperatures in the capital reached up to 29 degrees.

However, there was a significant drop in calls between 3pm and 5pm yesterday (7 July) during the Wimbledon final. Between 4pm and 5pm the control room answered 199 calls compared to 325 on Saturday (6 July).

Staff in the control room answered 6,102 emergency calls on Saturday (6 July) and 5,364 yesterday (Sunday 7 July) an increase of 27.6 per cent compared to two weekends ago before the hot weather started.

The top three reasons patients called for an ambulance over the weekend was for fainting, breathing problems and chest pain.

Deputy Medical Director, Fenella Wrigley, said: “The warm weather is expected to continue for the next few days and I would urge anyone who is travelling around London this week and commuting to work on public transport to make sure they carry a bottle of water with them.

“We always see a rise in 999 calls during hot weather; in particular people forgetting to keep hydrated and fainting and the heat making pre-existing conditions like asthma worse.

“It is important to remember to keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water and have any medication that you might need with you at all times.”

Top tips for keeping well in the heat:

  • The heat affects everyone, but the young and elderly are particularly at risk. Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves.
  • Avoiding the sun at the hottest part of the day, usually between 11am and 3pm. Keeping as cool as possible – wear a hat when sitting or working outside and use plenty of sun cream.
  • Carrying prescribed medicines for chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma and bronchitis.
  • Drinking plenty of water and avoiding drinking alcohol in the sun.
  • Considering other healthcare providers in the community such as your local pharmacy or walk in centre for less serious illnesses and injuries. In an emergency always dial 999 for an ambulance.

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Notes for editors: 

  • The Service received 6,102 emergency calls on Saturday 6 July – an increase of 33.7 per cent from Saturday 22 June (4,592 calls).
  • The busiest hour on Saturday saw staff in the control room answer 369 emergency calls.
  • The Service received 5,364 emergency calls yesterday (Sunday 7 July) – an increase of 22.1 per cent from Sunday 22 June (4,393 calls).
  • The busiest hour on Sunday saw staff in the control room answer 293 emergency calls.
  • The total number of calls received in the control room over the weekend was 11,466, an increase of 27.6 per cent compared to Saturday 22 June and Sunday 23 June (8,985 calls).
  • For more information please contact the communications department on 020 7783 2286.
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