With an average of 18 call-outs every day last year, St John Ambulance Service said falls and breathing problems continue to be the most significant cause of calls for help.
The latest figures released by the charity which runs Guernsey’s ambulance service proved that while 2022 was another busy year it was slightly less hectic than the year before.
During 2022 St John responded to 6642 emergency and urgent calls, and transfers. That was slightly down from 2021 when there were nearer 7000 calls, but fairly static compared to 2020 figures.
In 2019 there were 5658 call outs reflecting the general upward trend in demand for ambulance services over the last few years.
Head of Operations, Dean de la Mare, said there had been a 36% increase in the number of call outs since 2017.
“Guernsey’s ambulance service continues to provide a high level of care and is one of the best performing services in the British Isles," he said. "The nature of our work is not always predictable and we can see periods of lower than normal demand followed by periods of high demand and it is not unusual for several 999 calls to come in at once. At times of high demand, senior officers can be deployed to frontline operations and off-duty staff are called back to work to provide cover and maintain resilience for the island. I would like to take this opportunity to thank staff who return to work to ensure cover is maintained."
Demand for emergency ambulance services peaked on one day last summer, with 32 calls in just 24 hours in August, but the busiest month of the year overall was December while the quietest month was January.
Pictured: Among the emergency call outs during 2022 was one made by young Colby who rang for help when his mum collapsed at home. Colby and the woman who took his 999 call were both given awards by the Chief Ambulance Officer earlier this year.
Not all 999 calls need an immediate blue light response, with a year-on-year increase of 3.5% in non-emergency patient transfers, and a total of 2877 cases recorded in 2022.
Mr De la Mare said that means a decision is made by trained staff on which calls to prioritise during busy times.
“999 calls are triaged by the Joint Emergency Services Control Centre (JESCC) using a world-class clinical prioritisation system which categorises cases so that the most serious and life-threatening calls are responded to first, and less urgent calls get the most appropriate response. For the highest category of call the nearest ambulance resource will be dispatched, but for less urgent cases the target response time can be up to 2 hours. Some non-urgent cases may also be referred to a doctor.”
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