South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) is seeking “tech-savvy” members of the public to help relatives, friends, or neighbours who may find it difficult to access the internet in a bid to get more people using NHS 111 online.
High Demand Means Utilise 111 Online Wherever Possible
Due to a much higher than expected demand across the Trust for 999, 111 and patient transport services people are being urged to utilise 111 online wherever possible as it can provide quick advice on the best healthcare option.
Emergency Urgent Care and Patient Transport Provider
SCAS provides emergency, urgent care and patient transport to more than four million people across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire, as well patient transport for a further three million people in Surrey and Sussex.
Calling On Tech-savvy Members of the Public!
Director of Operations at SCAS, Mark Ainsworth, acknowledges that, although SCAS is appealing for people to alleviate the high demand on the 111-phone line by utilising the great 111 online tool, this may not be feasible for everyone for those who find it complicated or don’t have the levels of access to technology to access it.
Mark Ainsworth says “Therefore, we are calling on the more tech-savvy members of the public to lend a helping hand their family, friends or neighbours – particularly people who you know live alone – who may find it difficult as, in turn, this will further alleviate the pressure on our 111 call handlers”.
More Support and Better Access To Technology For All
Mr Ainsworth recognises that even just offering to support someone who isn’t currently unwell could be beneficial because they will have an alternative way of seeking less urgent medical advice when they do require it.
“The more we enable society to have support or access to technology the better as it means we can ensure more people are able to utilise the full range of tools available to them – which is obviously particularly important at great times of stress on the healthcare system,” said Mr Ainsworth.
Help With Patient Transport Also Needed
SCAS is also looking for people to help support the Patient Transport Service while it focuses on the discharge of patients from hospitals across the region to free up space for new admissions.
Paul Stevens, Director of Commercial Services at SCAS, said: “People can support us through this challenging period by, wherever possible, finding alternative ways to get to hospital appointments – maybe via family, friends or neighbours, volunteers and community transport or taxis.
“It is also really important that people let us know via the cancellation line 0300 790 0143 if they or a family member has patient transport booked, they no longer need so we can use it for another patient.
“We are also keen to hear from anyone who is interested in becoming a volunteer car driver for SCAS. Find out more via our website scas.nhs.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org.”