Third busiest weekend ever for London Ambulance Service

Londoners are being urged to use the London Ambulance Service wisely after the third ever busiest weekend for emergency calls.

Staff in the control room answered 6,606 emergency calls yesterday (Sunday 18 May), an increase of 28 per cent compared to the previous Sunday, making it the sixth busiest day ever.

Saturday was also exceptionally busy, with a total of 6,137 emergency calls recorded, compared to just over 5,000 calls the previous weekend.

At Saturday’s busiest, staff taking and handling calls in the control room took 403 calls an hour, between 11pm and midnight.

Kevin Brown, Deputy Director of Operations, said: “We always see a rise in calls to our service in hot weather; but this weekend in particular there were a variety of reasons including the big turnout for the FA Cup final in Wembley.

“It is important people help us to respond to the most seriously ill and injured by only calling 999 in a genuine emergency.

“Anyone with a minor condition should consider other healthcare options such as visiting their GP, local pharmacy or calling 111.

“Many people call us with heat-related issues that could be avoided if they took more care in the sun, and we would again urge people to look after themselves.”

Tips for keeping well in the sun include:
• 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.
• Keeping as cool as possible – wear a hat when sitting or working outside and use plenty of sun cream.
• Carrying medicines for conditions such as asthma and bronchitis.
• Drinking plenty of water and avoid drinking alcohol in the sun.
• Consider 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. 

 – Ends –

Notes to editors:

•The total number of emergency calls between Monday 12 May and Sunday 18 May was 38,987.
•On Sunday (18 May) we took 1,900 more emergency calls, an increase of 28 per cent compared to the previous weekend.
•For further information about the London Ambulance Service or this news release please contact the communications department on 020 7783 2286.
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