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Coronavirus: South East Coast Ambulance sees spike in demand for 111 service

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Coronavirus: South East Coast Ambulance sees spike in demand for 111 service

Published by the Eagle Radio News Team at 5:51pm 12th March 2020. (Updated at 6:25am 13th March 2020)

"Our staff are working extremely hard to respond to increased 111 demand. "

The message from Surrey and North East Hampshire's ambulance service comes as the UK moves onto the next stage of its response to the coronavirus outbreak and people with minor symptoms are being told not to call 111.

South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) says the NHS 111 phone service is far busier than usual because of the coronavirus outbreak.

SECAmb said on Twitter that some people might have a longer wait for the 111 service than usual: 

"NHS 111 is doing everything possible to ensure everyone receives the most appropriate care, whatever the reason for their call.

"Services are currently very busy and our staff are working hard to provide timely, high-quality care and advice to anyone calling 111.

"Thank you for your patience at this time." 

28 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in Surrey and Hampshire.

Hampshire has 15 cases while Surrey has 13.

Symptoms of COVID-19 can include:

  • A cough
  • A high temperature
  • Shortness of breath

For coronavirus advice, people can also visit NHS 111 Online and answer the questions provided.