Ambulance service's 999 and 111 lines busy over Easter weekend

By Tristan Harris Wednesday 23 April 2014 Updated: 23/04 23:42

WEST Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) had a busy Easter bank holiday weekend with 10,821 emergency 999 calls across the four days.

But the demand for the service, which was up overall by 1.7 per cent on the same time last year, was changeable during the break.

In West Mercia, the busiest time was on Monday when there was an 11.5 per cent increase on last year's bank holiday figures. In contrast, on the Saturday, the number of calls in the area dropped by 12.5 per cent.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “We put a huge amount of planning into ensuring that we had the right number of resources on at the right times.

“In the main, we got it about right, but the swings in demand were really quite severe and were different across the area."

He added while most people were enjoying an extended break, WMAS staff were working hard to ensure patients needing help received the highest standards of clinical care in often difficult situations.

The 111 health line also had one of its busiest times since West Midlands Ambulance Service took it over, receiving 21,875 calls over the bank holiday weekend.

That equated to an average of 227 calls an hour or a call every 15 seconds over the four days.

It came as the service was praised by Brendan Young, the patient representative for West Midlands Clinical Senate, who visited the 111 headquarters as part of a special event.

That was aimed at showing how performance had been improved since WMAS took over, provided an overview of how the call centre worked and visitors had the chance to put questions to senior management members of the team behind 111.

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