October 15, 2021
Increasing response times for ambulance services
With the added pressure of COVID-19, combined with NHS staff shortages and increased 999 call volumes, ambulances in parts of the UK are experiencing delays in attending emergencies.
According to the Independent, nine out of ten ambulance trusts in England are currently operating at their highest level of demand level 4, which was previously known as ‘black alert’1. The trust has now said that for some 999 callers, who are classed as urgent but not life-threatening, an ambulance will no longer be sent until a paramedic has spoken to the patient and confirmed that one is necessary. West Midlands emergency services saw a record of 16,058 calls over one weekend in July, the first time it has ever hit 16,000 in the trust’s history.
Use the 111 service in non-life-threatening situations
For careline alarm service users, the Telecare Services Association have recommended we encourage our customers to use the 111 service as a triage for non-life-threatening situations, rather than calling 999 straight away.
If you are a Telecare24 customer and you trigger your alarm for medical help, please do not be offended if we ask you to phone 111 if you are able to do so. We may be able to contact 111 on your behalf however, due to patient confidentiality, it is likely that 111 will need to contact you back directly.
If you have already spoken to 111 and you feel as though your situation has deteriorated, trigger your alarm again and let us know. In these situations, we can try contacting your keyholders or the emergency services on your behalf. If your situation is life-threatening, you should call 999 if you are able to do so.
Our customers can rest assured that help is always at hand
Customers of Telecare24 can rest assured knowing that we will continue to answer your calls for help as quickly as possible when you trigger your careline alarm.
If you haven’t already, get in touch and let us know who your keyholders are that we can contact when you need help in an emergency. If you don’t have any keyholders, you can also let us know of your next of kin who we will notify if we must call 999. We also hold doctor’s details for every customer and can contact your GP if necessary. Your GP can then call you back directly for additional peace of mind.
For further information on when to call either 111 or 999, see links in the sources below.