The Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) is urging England fans to make a special effort to support the NHS ambulance service during the World Cup celebrations this week by only dialling 999 if it is a life-threatening situation.
The request comes after a particularly busy weekend for NHS ambulance services, when England beat Sweden in the World Cup quarter finals during one of the hottest summer days of the year. Many local ambulance services saw their call numbers increase to the same levels as they usually receive on New Year’s Eve – traditionally the busiest night of the year for ambulance staff
Managing Director of the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE), Martin Flaherty OBE said:
It is fantastic that England are doing so well in the World Cup and we are encouraging supporters to enjoy the football by staying safe in the hot weather and drinking responsibly.
We also want people to spare a thought for all of the hardworking NHS staff who will be on duty during the games and support them by only using ambulance and A&E services if they are absolutely necessary and treating those staff with respect.
AACE is recommending that England fans do the following:
• Prepare for the big game properly – eat beforehand, drink plenty of water and drink alcohol sensibly.
• Look out for your friends and plan how you will all get home after the match
• Think before you dial 999 – is it really a life-threatening emergency?
• Use 999 wisely: Calling 999 when it is unnecessary means those staff and vehicles are then unable to respond to critically ill patients.
• Feeling unwell? Most of the time a pharmacy, your GP or 111 are more appropriate options than 999. Only dial 999 in a genuine emergency.
If you do need our services, we ask that our staff are treated with respect – violence and aggression towards NHS staff will not be tolerated and perpetrators will be punished to the full extent of the law.