Exceptionally busy day for Northern Ireland Ambulance Service

There was a 16% rise in call-outs for the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service on Thursday 4th January, compared to the same day last year.

Paramedics responded to 690 calls, the majority of which were for people with immediate life threatening or very serious health concerns.

Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) said Thursday last was an exceptionally busy day for the ambulance service.  A spokesperson said “We are in the middle of a very busy period of time and we are still extremely busy. On the 4th of January we had 690 calls into the service and on the same day last year there was 596.”

NIAS A&E & Control
Pics: (Northern Ireland Ambulance Service and Emergency Times)

212 of those calls were Category A, which means they were immediately life threatening. This figure was up 43.2% from just 148 of the most serious calls on the same day last year.

Category B calls, which are serious but not immediately life-threatening, accounted for a further 271 cases when an ambulance or rapid response paramedic was dispatched.

There were 146 Category C calls, for non-serious. The NIAS says some may have been made by doctors or other medical professionals and puts the increase in calls down to a “year-on-year growth in demand.

“What’s happening is reflective of what’s going on throughout the whole of the United Kingdom, not just Northern Ireland” a spokesperson said.

There is additional pressure on resources as when Paramedics get their patients to hospital, the ambulance service experiences ‘long wait times’.

Northern Ireland Ambulance Service generally aims to have 56 ambulance crews operating every day alongside 20 rapid response paramedics.