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Harrow residents urged to ‘use 999 and 111 wisely’ and ‘stock up on medication’ ahead of Easter weekend

The London Ambulance Service (LAS) is urging Londoners, including Harrow residents, to use 999 and 111 services wisely and to get their medication before the upcoming four-day weekend.

LAS call handlers usually experience a surge in demand for services in the days following the bank holiday weekend, receiving around 20,000 999 calls during the four days of the weekend itself.

Darren Farmer, Director of Ambulance Operations at London Ambulance Service, said: “We hope everyone enjoys Easter but please be ready for the four day weekend. We would ask the public to help us manage demand by making sure they have the medication they need ahead of the bank holiday.

“If it’s urgent, but it’s not a serious medical emergency, please consider other options such as GPs and pharmacies as some of these services will still be available, or NHS 111 online. NHS 111 should be your first port of call if you’re unsure what to do or unsure which service you need.

“If you need advice or medication from a pharmacist in London, use the NHS pharmacy finder to check which pharmacies are open near you.

“Please also check on any vulnerable family or friends ahead of the weekend to make sure they are safe and have the medication that they need.

“Only call 999 when it’s a serious medical emergency so we can prioritise responding to the most seriously ill and injured patients.”

LAS has geared up for the Easter bank holiday weekend by ensuring there are enough ambulances, response vehicles, and additional staff in the 999 and 111 control rooms throughout London.

They’ve also increased the number of clinicians available to talk to patients who call 999 and 111, ensuring they receive the necessary assistance.

Examples of medical emergencies include chest pains, difficulty breathing, unconsciousness, severe bleeding, severe burns or scalds, choking, seizures, concussion, drowning, or severe allergic reactions.

If your need for an ambulance changes or you can make your own way to the hospital, “please call back on 999 to inform us”, say LAS. This allows crews to be redirected to other patients in need. You can find more information about calling 999 on the LAS website.