WELL intentioned motorists have been urged to adopt a ‘sensible and reasonable approach’ to 999 calls after the ambulance service attended over 70 no-patient incidents last weekend.

Richard Lee, director of operations for the Welsh Ambulance Service, urged the public to fully consider their 999 dials after 73 calls over the weekend were closed as either ‘no patient on scene’ or ‘hoax’.

Mr Lee said: “Over the weekend there were 73 calls closed as either ‘no patient on scene’ or ‘hoax’.

“Every response to a call where we are not required means that a patient who needs our urgent help waits longer.

“We recognise that more often than not people call 999 because they simply want to assist, and we wouldn’t want to deter anyone from calling for help when it is genuinely needed.

“But it is always difficult balancing act for us when we receive dozens of calls from different people reporting the same accident, or motorists assuming, having driven past an incident, that someone might need an emergency ambulance when, too often, there is no real requirement for medical assistance at the scene.

“We would ask people to take a sensible and reasonable approach in calling us. Make sure an ambulance is needed before calling 999.

“If the situation changes and an emergency response is not required, call us back again via 999, so that we can reallocate that ambulance and emergency team to another person who does need it.”

Last weekend was yet another busy period for the ambulance service, with events such as the World Cup and Velothon contributing to an increase in the average number of reports that call operators dealt with to around 65 more per day.