PEOPLE have been urged not to make unnecessary 999 calls as the ambulance service anticipates a surge in demand.

South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) has asked people to be careful as lockdown eases, and not make unnecessary 999 calls.

It has dealt with a noticeable increase in emergency incidents since March 29, when the stay-at-home rule was removed.

SWASFT is anticipating periods of higher demand for the 999 service during the upcoming months as other restrictions are lifted.

It is considering its activity forecasts to ensure it has appropriate levels of resources to respond to patients across the region.

And the service has reminded people to only call 999 in an emergency.

Specialist paramedic Paul Kimberley said: “We’ve all been through challenging times during the past year.

“Now we’ve got freedom to see friends and families safely outdoors and do some other things.

“During this period of transition, I would encourage everyone to continue doing all they can to keep themselves and others safe.

“This includes following the 'hands, face, space and fresh air' guidance, and abiding by the restrictions still in place.

“If you think you have a medical need, please consider contacting 111, and save the 999 service for life-threatening emergencies.”