Warning over abusing emergency ambulance service

AMBULANCE bosses have warned people to only ring 999 in a genuine emergency.

Every day Yorkshire Ambulance Service receives calls from people with minor ailments like toothache, nose bleeds and cuts and bruises and they expect these to increase over Christmas.

West Yorkshire paramedic Richard Waterman said: "We respond to a lot of patients who have reported a serious condition only to find they merely require treatment or advice for a minor condition.

"When you work for an emergency service which exists to help save lives, it's very frustrating when you are dealing with calls of this nature.

"It's always at the back of your mind that we could be helping someone genuinely in need."

Tasnim Ali, assistant director of A&E operations in West Yorkshire, said: "While our 999 call-takers and ambulance crews are caught up dealing with patients who have called with minor ailments, we might not be able to get to people who urgently need us and this can put the lives of other patients at risk.

"We ask that people only call 999 for an ambulance in a medical emergency when someone is in need of time-critical help."

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