Military called in to help out ambulance service

THE military is being drafted in to help keep ambulances on the road as the service in the South West experiences a spike in demand.

The South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) received 24,049 call-outs in the week starting July 19, 28% higher than in the same week in 2019 before the pandemic.

During the height of the demand, the service has dealt with more than 3,000 emergency incidents per day – or about two a minute.

The ambulance service has already received more than 12,000 hours of support from the Avon Fire and Rescue Service since the height of the pandemic, with firefighters being used as ambulance drivers during this period.

Wayne Darch, Assistant Director of Operations for SWASFT said:“With the NHS in the South West facing increasing demand we are using tried and tested methods to alleviate pressures on services so everyone will continue to get the care they need.

“This includes a small number of military personnel to help us get more of our vehicles back on the road, getting people the urgent care and treatment they need sooner.

“If you are worried about your health but it is not an emergency, please use 111 online to be directed to the best service for your needs.”

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