Yorkshire Ambulance Service facing pressure 'as bad as height of winter'

Yorkshire ambulance crews are facing the same level of pressure as if it were the height of winter, the service has said.

Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 9:20 am
Yorkshire Ambulance Service
Yorkshire Ambulance Service

Yorkshire Ambulance Service declared a major incident over the weekend after urging residents to only call in “a serious or life-threatening emergency”.

In a tweet on Sunday, the service said they were facing “extremely high demand” while a medical dispatcher, Elliot Carter, shared that they were “critically busy”.

Now, the trust has stated that the current patient demand is as bad as “what it would expect to see at the height of winter”.

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In a statement yesterday, a YAS spokesperson said that rising Covid-19 rates, staff sickness and isolation have led to several months of steadily increasing pressure.

Executive director of operations Nick Smith said his teams were battling the struggle but warned that it was leading to some patients having to wait longer, and those with life-threatening conditions are “always prioritised”.

He said: “We continue to ask members of the public to only call for an ambulance when someone is in a serious or life-threatening emergency to help us focus our efforts on our most poorly patients.

“We have been experiencing periods of extremely high demand, particularly during the last few weekends and this has had a significant impact on our operations.

“These pressures are not unique to the ambulance service and the NHS across the region is experiencing considerable pressure on its services.

“We have continued to respond to those in need as swiftly as possible, but acknowledge that some patients are having to wait longer than we would like them to.

“Our dedicated and caring staff are doing a fantastic job and continue to work extremely hard to respond to patients as quickly and safely as possible.”

Anyone who is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk should call 999 immediately.

Anyone with less serious illnesses and injuries are being urged to consider self-care, their local pharmacy, their GP surgery, an urgent care centre or to make their own way to accident and emergency.

YAS also urged residents to make use of the NHS 111 service.