WMAS uses social media to advise public on alternative treatment options

As the NHS approaches its busiest time of the year, West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (WMAS) has asked the public to consider whether someone is in life-threatening danger before calling 999.

All this week (Monday 16–20 December), via social media site Twitter, WMAS is giving an insight into the lives of its staff as they go about their roles. The range of calls received by the control room and how the service responds to them will be highlighted, in an attempt to help people to understand some of the challenges faced by WMAS.

As well as following ambulance staff each day as they respond to emergency calls, WMAS will also be outlining some of the alternatives to the ambulance service and A&E.

Assistant Chief Officer, Daren Fradgley, said: ‘We hope that this awareness will help the public to take a moment to make sure that they ‘Choose Well’ when they access the NHS.

‘Not everyone who calls 999 needs an ambulance or to be taken to hospital. In fact, the percent of those who are taken to hospital by us is continuing to fall. This is allowing us to concentrate our resources on treating those who are seriously ill or injured.

‘We hope that by providing information and demonstrating the types of calls that we receive that people will only call us when they need us. By doing so, we will be better able to help the people who really need us.’

Taken from Journal of Paramedic Practice, published 16 December 2013.