Welsh Ambulance Service calls on public to help protect services this Bank Holiday weekend
The Welsh Ambulance Service is urging the public to help protect its services for those who need them the most ahead of the final Bank Holiday of the summer season.
With the increased popularity of ‘Staycations’ this year, the further easing of Coronavirus restrictions and the imminent end of the school holidays, ambulance service bosses are gearing up for a busy three-day weekend.
Director of Operations, Lee Brooks said: “At peak periods such as this, the population in certain areas of Wales can increase dramatically with an influx of holidaymakers soaking up our beautiful scenery.
“This gives us a much larger population to care for and whereas we have plans to help us cope with this, we are asking the public to make smart choices when it comes to dealing with non-emergency medical issues.
“Using the full range of options available will help keep our resources free for those people with life-threatening injuries or illness – you never know when that may be one of your loved ones.
“So please, keep each other safe this Bank Holiday and keep our 999 lines free for only the most serious cases.”
Some alternative pathways to 999 that can help you get advice and treatment to suit your condition should you become ill or injured:
- Online: If you’re ill or injured and it’s not a life-threatening emergency, visit the NHS 111 Wales website, where there are 30+ symptom checkers.
- Minor Injury Units (MIU): You can attend your nearest Minor Injury unit for help with things such as fractures, dislocations, assaults, wounds and ear, nose and throat problems. Find your nearest MIU here.
- Pharmacist: Help and advice is also available by visiting a pharmacist who are qualified to deal with all manner of conditions such as bites and stings, allergies, hay fever, sunburn and wounds.
- Phone: In all Health Board areas except Cardiff you can now dial 111 free of charge 24hrs a day. This number is staffed by trained professionals who can help you get the right treatment in the right place at the right time. Residents of Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan can currently get advice over the phone, by calling the ‘CAV 24/7’ for urgent care line on 0300 10 20 247 or NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47 for general healthcare advice.
Tips to stay safe over summer and protect the NHS:
In the Heat
- Drink lots of water – it’s important to keep hydrated as you lose more fluid than you take in during hotter temperatures
- Keep out of the sun – it’s best to stay in the shade between 11am-3pm when the sun is at its hottest
- Wear sun cream and sunglasses – apply a sun cream of at least factor 30 that includes UVA protection and make sure your sunglasses have UV protection lenses
- Loose clothing – wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes along with a hat
- Look out for others – keep a check on those vulnerable to the effects of heat, especially the elderly, young children and babies and those who have a heart or respiratory condition such as asthma
- Never leave babies, young children or animals in a parked vehicle – temperatures can soar very quickly in a parked car, and children under two are particularly at risk of getting heatstroke or heat exhaustion
In the Water
- Don’t be tempted to take a dip in reservoirs, canals, lakes and rivers to cool down – there are hidden dangers lurking beneath the surface such as debris and underwater currents which can result in drowning
- Keep an eye out – children should always be supervised when they are in or around water and make sure they are swimming within designated areas
- Don’t be pushy – never run, push or jump on others when in a swimming pool or at the beach, and if you see someone in difficulty tell a lifeguard or call 999
- On the water – if out in a boat or canoe, always wear a lifejacket
Out and About
- Download the free what3words app on your mobile phone so 999 call handlers can find you quickly in an emergency
- Road safety – when out on a bike or scooter, always wear a helmet and beware of busy roads and cross roads safely
- Dangerous playgrounds – make sure you know where your children are going to ensure they aren’t playing in any hazardous areas such as railway tracks or abandoned buildings
- Stick together – don’t walk away and leave friends to get home on their own
- Drink alcohol sensibly – if you’re enjoying a tipple in the sunshine, be sure to know your limits and remember to drink plenty of water as the alcohol will make you even more dehydrated
- If you’re visiting Wales on holiday, make sure you know the address of your rental home, hotel, campsite or caravan park – this will be the first thing a 999 call handler will ask you
- Ensure that your house name or number is displayed clearly so our ambulances can find you in good time
- Make sure you have a well-stocked first aid kit so you’re poised to deal with any minor injuries at home – here’s what your kit should contain
- If you’re a visitor to Wales, remember to bring any prescription medicines
Lee added: “We would encourage visitors from across UK borders to check the current position on Coronavirus in Wales and remember to bring your face covering for use in shops, public transport and some restaurants and bars.
“Please also remember to observe social distancing and good hand hygiene wherever possible as this remains our first line of defence against the virus.
“We wish you all a safe and happy long weekend.”
For more information, email Communications Officer Joel Garner at Joel.Garner@wales.nhs.uk Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com