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South Central Ambulance Service declares critical incident

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A LOCAL ambulance service has declared a critical incident as patients with less urgent needs are asked to contact alternative services.

South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS), which serves Hampshire, made the decision yesterday (Monday) due to pressures on its services, with an expected increase in demand from soaring temperatures.

It remains in place today, and is being regularly reviewed.

South Central Ambulance Service has declared a 'critical incident'
South Central Ambulance Service has declared a 'critical incident'

A spokesperson said it would "prioritise our response to those patients with life-threatening and serious emergencies" and asked other patients to call the NHS 111 hotline for advice, visit local urgent care centres, GPs or pharmacists.

"We are experiencing an increasing number of 999 calls into our service, combined with patients calling back if there is a delay in our response to them.

"As a result, our capacity to take calls is being severely challenged."

They added: "This is combined with the challenges of handing patients over to busy hospitals across our region and a rise in Covid infections, as well as other respiratory illnesses, among both staff and in our communities.

"This week we are also faced with high temperatures across our region which we know will lead to an increase in demand on our service.

"All of these issues combined are impacting on our ability to respond to patients."

Those who have dialled 999 for emergency patients are also asked not to redial the number unless their condition has changed.

"We would like to thank everyone for your support during this difficult time and we will post further updates on both our social media channels and website," the spokesperson said.

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