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How you can help us help you over the summer 

This summer, we are asking Londoners to take care and be sensible while they enjoy themselves – to help us to help those who need us, in a time of pressure on our Service.An ambulance car shown parked up in front of another ambulance car and an ambulance on a residential street

In the summer months, demand on our Service has risen significantly – at times to about 8,000 999 calls in a 24 hour period. A usual ‘busy’ day will see our 999 control room teams take around 5,500 calls.

Our frontline ambulance crews, 999 and 111 call takers and the many other teams who ensure we can respond to Londoners are working extremely hard, often in very challenging circumstances.

To help us reach patients who need us as quickly as we can, please only call 999 for life-threatening emergencies.

For urgent medical help when it’s not an emergency, please go to NHS111 online first.

If your medical concern is urgent – but you don’t need an emergency ambulance – and you use the 111 service, you’ll get the support you need: safely and quickly. You will also be helping us to ensure we are able to speak to and treat the most seriously ill and injured patients as quickly as possible.

If you cannot get online, call 111. The 111 phone service now has more doctors, nurses, pharmacists, paramedics, dental nurses and trained health advisors than ever before. These are qualified medical personnel able to provide support and advice and they can help with booking GP appointments or even a time slot in an A&E if that is what you need.

a call taker photographed with the NHS logo on their t-shirt

If you call 999 but it’s not a life-threatening emergency, you will be waiting longer for an ambulance as we have to make sure our control room teams and ambulance crews speak to and treat the most seriously ill or injured patients.

If you no longer need an ambulance or you can make your own way to hospital, please call us back on 999 to let us know. Our crews can then be redirected to another patient who needs us.

However, please do not ring us back to ask how long the crews will be. This could delay us speaking to a caller about a seriously ill or injured patient. Only call us back if the patient’s condition worsens or they no longer need our help.

In warmer weather over the summer, it’s really important you keep hydrated: so please drink plenty of water.

If you’re drinking alcohol, it’s especially important to make sure you also drink lots of water.  Please be sensible when drinking so you don’t need to call us for help.

Finally, we must not forget that COVID-19 has not gone away. We all still have a part to play. Let’s not get complacent.

Please get your COVID-19 vaccine when eligible (and your second dose when offered).

One of our Tea Trucks parked at a hospital alongside ambulances
One of our Tea Trucks at a hospital

Thank you for your support.

We’d also like to say another huge thank you to all our staff and volunteers for everything they are doing to care for Londoners in need.

Our Wellbeing team are also working hard behind the scenes to provide additional support for staff and volunteers, including food and refreshments.

Our Tea Trucks – which provide refreshments to our crews at hospitals and other sites across London, seven days a week – also continue to be here for our teams.