Military to help pressured ambulance service in Cornwall

Military personnel will be brought in to support the ambulance service in the South West, which has been struggling to meet demand during the summer.

Lee Trewhela www.devonlive.com 

With increased demand due to the higher number of visitors in Cornwall and Devon combined with the pressures of Covid-19 and shortages in staff there have been reports of all health services coming under sustained pressure.

The South Western Ambulance Service issued a desperate plea to the public earlier this month, urging them to only call 999 for life-threatening emergencies.

The warning came after the service said it was experiencing “extremely high demand.” The service had its busiest week on record in July, responding to a total of 22,041 incidents across seven days.

The pressure on the ambulance service has seen queues of ambulances outside the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro and other hospitals in the region.

Now, in a bid to support paramedics and other ambulance staff, military personnel will be assisting in the region.

Wayne Darch, South Western Ambulance Service’s assistant director of operations, said: “With the NHS in the South West facing increasing demand we are using tried and tested methods to alleviate pressures on services so everyone will continue to get the care they need.

“This includes a small number of military personnel to help us get more of our vehicles back on the road, getting people the urgent care and treatment they need sooner. If you are worried about your health but it is not an emergency, please use 111 online to be directed to the best service for your needs.”

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