25 Mar 2020
With the outbreak of Coronavirus, we are currently seeing unprecedented demand for both our 999 and 111 services.
Last week in particular, saw nearly 8,000 calls come into our 999 centres for four days in a row, the highest volume of calls per day we have ever seen.
With Government officials recently announcing that London is ‘ahead of other parts of the country in terms of the virus’ spread’, it has become of extreme importance that we are able to have a reassuring voice for both our staff and members of the public living in London. This has become even more important following the Prime Minister's appeal to the public to 'stay at home, protect the NHS, and save lives'.
A significant proportion of calls we are seeing come into our 999 and 111 control centres are from people that could have used nhs.uk/coronavirus. Londoners who are more vulnerable and may not have access to the internet are struggling to get through to our life-saving assistance as a result.
We would be really appreciative if you could share our call to action; asking people to visit nhs.uk/coronavirus rather than calling 111 and to only call 999 in a genuine life-threatening emergency.
We have recently launched our national recruitment drive, calling on former London Ambulance Service staff to get in touch if they're able to help us in these times of extreme demand. Any support in sharing this message would be greatly appreciated also.
We are working closely with the media and our partners to get our messaging out there but would value your support in reaching all corners of our community.
Please find some examples of our messages below:
London Ambulance Service is seeing unprecedented demand on our 999 and 111 phone services. Please get support online so 111 phone lines are freer for those who cannot get online.
-Urgent help: http://111.nhs.uk
-#COVID19 concerns: http://nhs.uk/coronavirus
Here's what you can do to protect yourself and others from coronavirus:
▶Wash your hands more often
▶Use soap and water for 20 seconds
▶Or use hand sanitiser
Advice and your first port of call: http://nhs.uk/coronavirus
*Please ONLY call 999 if it’s a life-threatening emergency.*
The London Ambulance Service is under unprecedented pressure.
If you have a #coronavirus concern go to http://nhs.uk/coronavirus.
The London Ambulance Service is asking for former members of staff - including call handlers, #paramedics and other clinicians to get in touch if they're able to help in these times of unprecedented demand.
If you are able to help, please contact the London Ambulance Service via this online form:
Stakeholder Communications Team
London Ambulance Service covers an area of 620 sq. miles, serves one of the world’s most dynamic and diverse cities and is the busiest ambulance service in the UK. We handle over 1.9 million emergency calls from across the capital and attend more than 1.2 million incidents every single year as well as delivering a 24 hour NHS 111 Integrated Urgent Care Service in South East and North East London that we estimate will respond to around 1.4million urgent care calls by the end of the year.
We employ over 6,000 staff, including volunteers, across London to respond to the health needs of over eight million people who live, work and travel in the capital.
We work closely with our NHS partners and are commissioned by 32 clinical commissioning groups spread across 5 sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) and NHS England for our specialist services. We work alongside London’s hospital, mental health and specialist trusts, as well as the five STPs across Greater London.
In addition we work in partnership with the other emergency services, London’s Air Ambulance and London’s Resilience Forums to make sure we are ready and prepared to respond to major incidents and ensure we keep Londoners safe.
As the only pan-London NHS provider we have a unique opportunity to play a leading role in integrating access to emergency and urgent care right across London.
By 2023 we will improve outcomes and experiences for all our patients by providing the right care to patients at the right time, and in the most cost effective way. This will mean up to 122,000 fewer patients being taken to emergency departments when their needs could be better met in a different way, and we will deliver significant efficiencies in avoided costs to the urgent and emergency care sector.