health

London Ambulance Service readies for 10,000 emergencies a day amid ‘triple whammy’ of Covid, flu and winter



London Ambulance Service is preparing to handle 10,000 999 calls a day when a “triple whammy” of Covid, flu and winter are expected to send emergency calls soaring.

Advanced plans are in place to summon extra staff and student paramedics to answer calls and the computer system has been upgraded in a bid to prevent it crashing, as happened last winter.

Neighbouring ambulance services could also be asked to help if the capital is as badly hit as during the first wave, when LAS was receiving more than 11,000 calls a day at the peak.


More than 530 ambulances are ready to be dispatched but crews have been told where possible to treat patients on the scene and not take them to A&E.

Plans are also being developed to take people directly to diagnostic labs to help prevent crews getting delayed outside hospitals waiting to offload patients.

It came as Boris Johnson prepared to lead a briefing at Downing Street today after the UK yesterday recorded 7,143 new daily coronavirus cases, the highest number since the outbreak began.



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