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 answers more 999 and 111 calls than any other ambulance service in the UK. Our crews go to more than 3000 emergencies a day and handle over two million 999 calls a year.
Our 24-hour 111 integrated urgent care services in north east and south east London answer more than 1.2million calls a year.
We are the only NHS provider trust to serve the whole of London and the nine million people who live in, work in or visit the city. We cover an area of 620sq miles and our average response time to the most serious emergencies is less than seven minutes.
We have 8000 people who work or volunteer for us and together we are striving to ensure patients receive the right response, in the right place, at the right time.
We work closely with our NHS partners including NHS England, our commissioners, hospitals, specialist trusts and the five sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) and Integrated Care Systems (ICS). We play a leading role in integrating access to emergency and urgent care in the capital.
Our collaboration with the Metropolitan Police Service, London Fire Brigade, London’s Air Ambulance and London’s Resilience Forums means we are ready and prepared to respond to major incidents; and ensure we keep Londoners safe.
By integrating our 999 and 111 services we are able to treat more patients over the phone; in their home; or refer them to appropriate care in their own community. This is key in achieving our strategic ambition of reducing the number of unnecessary trips to hospital; and should mean 122,000 fewer patients a year being taken to emergency departments.