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NHS Wales: Falls project avoids 50 needless ambulance callouts

A new scheme in Wales to help people who have suffered falls has prevented 50 ambulances being unnecessarily sent this year.

St John Ambulance works with Hywel Dda health board in Pembrokeshire to send its people when someone calls 999.

The pilot has been used 96 times since January but it needs more health board funding to continue after March.

Ageing Well in Wales estimates that between 230,000 and 460,000 over 60s fall each year.

When people dial 999, it can be directed to the St John Ambulance falls response team, who are sent to perform an assessment and identify whether the person can stay home or needs an ambulance to take them to hospital.

St John Ambulance operational team leader Robert James said in 60% of cases, the person was well enough to stay at home.

"You can imagine if you were sending an ambulance crew out and it has wasted 60% of the crew's time, well it's a big saving towards the NHS and the ambulance service in itself," he added.

"Provided there are no injuries, or reason for them to go to hospital, they can be discharged on the scene."

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Source: BBC News, 10 March 2023


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