Ambulance service urges Eastbourne residents to keep 999 for emergencies only

The South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust is telling people to only use 999 calls for life-threatening or serious emergencies.
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The trust is reminding the public to support it and the wider NHS through the colder months by making use of a range of alternative services.

This includes ringing 111, going to or patients speaking to their GP or pharmacist.

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In November 2019 more than 86,000 999 calls were made to the trust and the call rate is expected to be high again this winter.

Staff in the trust’s 111 service will also be working hard to respond to callers. 111 is integrated with the 999 service and existing out-of-hours care. This includes providing access to evening and weekend GP appointments, home visiting services, minor injury units, urgent treatment centres and A&E departments.

The trust’s deputy director of operations Emma Williams said, “Our staff and volunteers are working with their usual professionalism and commitment and we’re here to help patients whether they contact us in an emergency or by using NHS 111. People can really help us by remembering that 999 is for life-threatening or serious emergencies only.

“Across the NHS, services are available and we want to remind people to make use of the variety of options. When it’s not serious, people can arrange to speak with their GP and there is also a wealth of knowledge available from local pharmacists.

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“As always, we know that winter can be challenging with issues such as severe weather and this year has been unique in testing our resilience. I am incredibly proud of the way in which everyone at the trust has stepped up and delivered excellent care.

“I thank the public for their ongoing support and know that my colleagues will be working hard in the coming weeks and months to keep everyone safe.”

Anyone wanting further information - including a winter checklist released by the trust - can visit