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Use 999 and 111 wisely and stock up on medication ahead of the Easter weekend

Medics at London Ambulance Service (LAS) are appealing to Londoners to use 999 and 111 services wisely and get the medication they need before the four day weekend.

The side of an ambulance with back doors open and blue sky

Call handlers at LAS typically see an increased demand on services in the days following the bank holiday weekend and receive around 20,000 999 calls over the four days of the weekend itself.

Darren Farmer, Director of Ambulance Operations at London Ambulance Service, said: “We hope everyone enjoys Easter but please be ready for the four day weekend. We would ask the public to help us manage demand by making sure they have the medication they need ahead of the bank holiday.

“If it’s urgent, but it’s not a serious medical emergency, please consider other options such as GPs and pharmacies as some of these services will still be available, or NHS 111 online. NHS 111 should be your first port of call if you’re unsure what to do or unsure which service you need.

“If you need advice or medication from a pharmacist in London, use the NHS pharmacy finder to check which pharmacies are open near you.

“Please also check on any vulnerable family or friends ahead of the weekend to make sure they are safe and have the medication that they need.

“Only call 999 when it’s a serious medical emergency so we can prioritise responding to the most seriously ill and injured patients.”

LAS has prepared for the Easter bank holiday weekend by putting out sufficient ambulances, response vehicles and extra control room staff in the 999 and 111 control rooms across London. The Service also has more clinicians able to speak to patients who have called 999 and 111 to ensure they get the help they need.

LAS also manages demand by using its specialist resources including mental health cars and urgent community response cars.

Examples of medical emergencies include chest pains, difficulty in breathing, unconsciousness, severe loss of blood, severe burns or scalds, choking, fitting or concussion, drowning or severe allergic reactions.

If you no longer need an ambulance or you can make your own way to hospital, you should call back on 999 to let us know. Crews can then be redirected to another patient who needs us. Find out more about calling 999 on our website.

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