The Trust has planned ahead for the expected increase in demand but is urging people to use the service wisely and to seek alternatives to 999 if not faced with a life-threatening or serious emergency.
Over the course of the Easter weekend in 2018, staff in SECAmb’s Emergency Operations Centres in Crawley and Coxheath answered in excess of 8,000 calls. Across the region the NHS 111 service also faced high demand handing some 25,000 calls in the four days.
During any period of high demand, SECAmb works hard to prioritise its response to patients with the greatest need. Anyone not facing a serious or life-threatening emergency is likely to wait longer for a response. Those not facing a serious emergency are urged to consider alternatives to 999 including calling NHS 111, visiting a walk-in centre or speaking to a pharmacist.
The Trust is also reminding people to order any repeat prescriptions and check opening hours of their GP surgeries and local pharmacies. Details of local services can be found here: https://www.nhs.uk/service-search
SECAmb Executive Director of Operations Joe Garcia said:
“We know that Easter is a busy time of year for us and the wider NHS. With schools off and a long Bank Holiday weekend we are anticipating an increase in demand.
“With this in mind we’re urging the public to remember to only dial 999 if it’s they’re facing a life-threatening or serious emergency. We will be working hard to reach all patients who need a face-to-face assessment as quickly as possible but prioritising our response to our most seriously ill and injured patients.
“People can really help us by remembering to make use of alternatives to 999 including calling NHS 111, where staff will also be working hard to provide people with the assistance they need.
“As ever, and throughout this period, our staff will be working extremely hard to get our patients the help they need. I’d like to thank every member of staff and all our Community First Responder volunteers for their continued hard work and commitment.”
Prostate cancer drop-in event announced for April in Ifield
1 in 8 men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime, but men are notoriously reluctant to visit a doctor or to talk about health concerns.
If you would like more information about prostate cancer, the Olive Tree Cancer Support Centre is holding a drop-in event at the Pelham Buckle pub/café, 216 Ifield Drive, Ifield, Crawley RH11 0DQ on Thursday 25th April 6.30 – 8.30pm.
The event is open to all and members of the prostate cancer support group will be there to meet and talk with those who have just been diagnosed, those going through treatment and beyond.
Partners are also welcome to come along to a very relaxed information session which is not in a hospital or other medical setting.
The Olive Tree’s prostate cancer support group meets at the Olive Tree Cancer Support Centre in the grounds of Crawley Hospital on the 4th Thursday of every month.
Please call the Olive Tree on 01293 534465 if you would like to come along. To find out more about prostate cancer including risk factors, treatments and much more please visit the Prostate Cancer UK website.