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1457 local hoax calls in two years putting lives at risk, Lib Dems warn

October 12, 2020 10:00 AM
By Ellen Nicholson

South Western Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust ()

The Liberal Democrats have warned malicious calls to the ambulance service are putting lives at risk as they reveal 1457 hoax calls have been made across South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust

over the last two years.

With the UK in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Munira Wilson has warned Ministers must ensure ambulance services have "the resources they need to educate people over the dangers that malicious calls pose."

Figures uncovered by the Liberal Democrats under freedom of information reveal there have been 23,942 hoax calls recorded by nine out of England's ten ambulance services in the last three years.

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for South West Wiltshire Ellen Nicholson said:

"As a busy NHS professional, I know the reality and importance of a unimpeded ambulance service. Anyone who makes a hoax call for an ambulance may be putting lives in danger. I know that the numbers of calls went down in 2019, but any ambulance that is diverted to a hoax is one that is unavailable to save a life elsewhere.

"With the Covid-19 pandemic, we all know the strain that our health staff are under. Ministers must therefore ensure ambulance services have the resources they need to educate people over the dangers that hoax calls pose."

Liberal Democrat spokesperson Ellen Nicholson for South West Wiltshire added:

"The Coronavirus crisis is an unprecedented threat. It is leaving the most vulnerable in our communities at risk and people are rightly worried about their loved ones.

"The people in our ambulance service are putting their lives on the line every single day to protect us. In turn, we have a moral obligation to do all we can to protect them."

For more about SWAST - https://www.swast.nhs.uk/welcome