DORSET’S ambulance service is encouraging residents to use the correct healthcare service this Easter bank holiday weekend. 

South Western Ambulance Service has reminded residents to only dial 999 in a life-threatening emergency. 

Bank holiday weekends can be a busy time for 999 services, especially when the weather is warm and people are out enjoying the sun. 

Ahead of the Easter weekend, the advice is to call 999 in life threatening emergencies including serious illness or injury and to visit NHS 111 online for non-life-threatening medical help or advice. 

The service added to make use of community pharmacies, which can advise on minor illnesses and provide medications. 

Visitors to the south west are reminded that their first point of call for GP care is their home practice, who will be able to provide online, phone and video consultations. 

Wayne Darch, deputy director of operations at the South Western Ambulance Service, said: “To ensure that we can be there for everyone that needs us in a medical emergency, we’re asking you to help us to help you, by choosing the right care for you.  

“Please only call 999 in a life-threatening emergency, this will ensure we have crews available for patients with the most life-threatening conditions. 

“I would also like to thank our people and NHS colleagues who will be working over the Easter weekend to help keep us all safe and well.  

“Should you need their support, please be kind to them, they are working hard under huge pressures currently.”