“I have dandruff” tops 999 time-wasting calls in March

A timewaster dialled 999 to report that he had DANDRUFF while another caller wanted an ambulance for his sick CAT.

One man called emergency crews for assistance after he was bitten by a hamster and needed a plaster and a woman asked for help with her shopping.

Shockingly, another person called 999 requesting a lift home after he got kicked out a nightclub and didn’t have any money for a taxi.

Bosses at East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) have revealed the list of barmy calls they received last month in a bid to cut down on inappropriate callers.

They also included one person complaining they had been waiting in A&E for 90 minutes and somebody moaning about a blister on their foot.

EMAS said that of the 66,621 emergency calls they received in March, 6,450 of them were ‘unknown’ calls.

Simon Tomlinson, general manager for emergency operations centres at EMAS, said: “These are often calls made by people who are not near the patient and so do not know what is wrong with them but are calling to report ‘something they think they have seen’.

“When our emergency call handlers are dealing with these calls, they cannot speak to someone in a real emergency.

“Sadly, some of the 999 calls are not for emergency situations and when one of our call handlers is on the phone to these inappropriate calls, they are not able to help someone in a real emergency.

“This month, inappropriate calls have included a man who was kicked out of a club after a night out but had no money to get home, and someone who had been waiting in A&E for an hour and a half and called 999 rather than speak to the hospital reception.”

Mr Tomlinson said he wanted to remind people about other options, such as calling NHS 111, contacting a GP or a pharmacist or visit an NHS walk in centre.

He added: “When you call 999 because someone is unconscious, not breathing, having chest pains or has the symptoms of a stroke, you are making the right call.

“Our emergency call handlers are trained to deliver life-saving instructions over the phone and we will get help to you as quickly as possible.

“Every 999 call is assessed so that the right help is provided to the right people, so you could receive the right treatment for you more quickly by contacting an alternative NHS service particularly if your call is not a serious emergency.”

EMAS top 10 inappropriate calls in March 

I have dandruff
My cat has died
Could you do my shopping for me
I have taken the dressing off blister on my foot and now it hurts to walk
A dog bit me – two months ago
Can I have lift home as I have been kicked out of a club and have no money for a cab
A hamster has bitten me and I need a plaster
I have a sore on my nose and am waiting for my GP to call back
I am in A&E have been waiting here for 90 minutes
My cat is sick and needs an ambulance

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