'Only call 999 for serious emergencies' says over-stretched ambulance service

PUBLISHED: 09:17 18 December 2008 | UPDATED: 22:26 26 October 2009

THE EAST of England Ambulance Service (EEAS) is urging people to call it only in serious emergencies after it received more than 7,000 calls last weekend alone. EEAS said emergency situations include suspected heart attacks and strokes, difficulties with

THE EAST of England Ambulance Service (EEAS) is urging people to call it only in serious emergencies after it received more than 7,000 calls last weekend alone.

EEAS said emergency situations include suspected heart attacks and strokes, difficulties with breathing, head injuries and potential fractures.

Incredibly a significant number of the call-outs were for minor ailments, such as coughs, muscle strains and constipation.

EEAS medical director Dr John Scott said: "We received 7,176 calls across the region during the three-day period from Friday to Sunday.

"This is despite recent appeals for people to consider first seeking guidance from NHS Direct or their own GP unless they have a serious injury or illness - so we are having to reiterate our message now in even stronger terms; please do not call unless there is a serious or life-threatening emergency."

NHS Direct can be contacted on 0845 4647.


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