THE South Western Ambulance Service has issued a public appeal after the second busiest day in its entire history. 

In a video message, the service's Assistant Director of Operations, William Lee, says the service is "continuing to experience unprecedented high-level demand", with Saturday (July 17) being the second busiest day in Trust history. 

Mr Lee - who is responsible for the 999 control rooms - is asking the public to only call 999 in "genuine, life-threatening emergency". 

Talking from the Bristol control room, Mr Lee says the service are working "incredibly hard to respond to patients who need us the most".

'I'm asking for the public's help'

He said: "You may have heard us say recently about the unprecedented level of demand the Trust has been experiencing. That has continued through this weekend and yesterday was the second busiest day in the Trust’s history.

"I’m asking today for the public’s help. Please only call 999 in a genuine life-threatening emergency. Examples include chest pain, a stroke or a serious injury. 

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"Please don’t call us back on 999 for an estimated time of arrival as we will not be able to provide one.

"Calling back for ETAs means that people who need immediate life saving instructions cannot get through. Please do call us back if you no longer need our help or if the patient gets worse."

Mr Lee also appealed to the public to stay hydrated in the sun, to stay in the shade and look after each other. 

He added: "Our people continue to work incredibly hard to respond to this level of activity and ensure that we are able to respond to people who need us most and have life-threatening emergencies."