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north east ambulance service: North East Ambulance Service declares 2nd critical incident in nine days amid ‘unprecedented’ pressure


For the second time in nine days, North East Ambulance Services has now declared another critical incident due to “unprecedented” pressure following the Christmas break. The incident was finally declared after significant delays were recorded for more than 100 patients waiting for the ambulance.

North East Ambulance Services is also facing a reduction in the availability of ambulance crews because of delays in handing over the patients at the region’s hospital.

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The decision came on the same day nurses were striking for a second day, and as fears grew over the impact of an ambulance strike on Wednesday, December 21 – when thousands of paramedics, technicians, control room workers, and other staff in England and Wales walked out.

Strategic commander at North East Ambulance Service, Shane Woodhouse said that this is the second time in nine days that they have declared a critical incident due to the unprecedented pressure being witnessed across the health system. This also meant declaring critical incident alerts on health system partners to provide support where they can and means they can focus their resources on those patients that need it the most.

She also clarified that they will be advising some patients to make their own way to the hospital when it is safe to do so.


  1. What number should the general public call, in case of emergency?
    In case of a life-threatening emergency the public should use the number 999.
  2. Where should the general patients go seeking medical help?
    All general patients are advised to use or speak to their GP or local pharmacist.

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