The London Ambulance service has exceeded Government targets for responding to callouts within 8 minutes.
In 2007/08 the service’s history experienced a rise in demand which took the number of emergency calls received up to nearly 1.4 million. Of these more than 943,000 incidents were responded to, an increase of more than three per cent on 2006/07 on the previous year.
The figures includes 315,700 Category A calls – those assessed from information received as being serious or immediately life-threatening – of which 79 per cent were reached within eight minutes. The Government’s national target is 75 per cent.
Now, in an effort to remind the public of the other healthcare options available before calling 999, the Service has produced a newspaper advert to appear in a range of publications across the capital.
Despite their success story Ambulance chiefs are urging those who don’t need emergency help to use the 999 system wisely.
Chief Executive Peter Bradley CBE said: “Staff from every department in the organisation have played their part in what has been our most successful year ever, and we can be confident that the high-quality care and treatment we are providing to our patients is continuing to improve all the time.”
“Londoners can also help us to help them by using us wisely and only calling us in an emergency, so that we can really focus on those people who genuinely need our help.”
Mr Bradley said he was “urging those people who are not seriously ill or injured to consider other ways of getting help before dialling 999. This can include looking after themselves at home, calling NHS Direct on 0845 4647, or even making their own way to hospital, as arriving in an ambulance does not mean that they will be seen more quickly.”