Manchester’s ambulance service chief issues heartfelt plea to public to only call 999 in an emergency

600 patients were waiting for an ambulance last night, with 100 ambulances stacked up at hospitals waiting for emergency care across the North West

North West Ambulance Service (NWAS), who provide Manchester’s emergency health care are currently trying to cope with unprecedented demand as the cold snap hits the North West.

They released a statement last night saying that nearly 600 patients were waiting for emergency help from ambulances across the North West, with an incredible 100 emergency vehicles stacked up outside hospitals waiting for access.

They are now urging the public to think before dialling 999 as hospitals face a winter crisis.

NWAS have categorised emergencies as: “Cardiac arrest, loss of consciousness, fits that aren’t stopping, chest pain, breathing difficulties, severe bleeding, severe allergic reactions, burns and scalds, suspected stroke and serious head injuries.”

Chris Grant, from North West Ambulance service made the heart rendering plea on social media last night.

He said: “I’m Chris Grant, Medical Director for North West Ambulance Service, with an urgent message for the public. Tonight, across both our 111 and 999 services, we’re seeing really significant demand.

“And I apologise in the delay in getting care to you.

“But I do need your help. We’ve called in all our operational and clinical resources to make sure we prioritise those who have the most life threatening conditions

“”We need to keep our phone lines free. So please, only call us back if you no longer need our help or if your own condition has gotten significantly worse.”

In a statement released last night, Ged Blezard, Director of Operations at North West Ambulance Service asked people to only call for am ambulance if they couldn’t get to the hospital by any other means.

He said: “Please only call 999 if someone has a serious illness or injury, you think their life is at risk, and you cannot get them to hospital by any other means.

“We know there are patients waiting for our help and we are sorry that we are unable to respond as quickly as we would like. Please be assured that we will get to you as soon as we can.

“The public can help us by only calling 999 for life-threatening emergencies. We cannot stress enough that our ambulance crews are reserved for the most life-threatening cases and these incidents will be prioritised.

“Please do not call 999 to check on ambulance arrival times, we cannot answer this question, and this blocks the line for other calls trying to get through.

“For all other health concerns, it is likely we will direct you to alternative services, so please help us by first checking your symptoms at and call on friends or relatives for transport if necessary.”


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