With winter starting next week, the NHS has released its first regular situation report which shows that 2022 autumn flu cases have already piled ten times more pressure on ambulance services across the UK compared to this time last year.
As such, one in four 999 calls were missed in October, and officials have warned this is a sign that the health service is facing its ‘most challenging winter ever’.
Roni Jamesmeyer, Senior Healthcare Manager at Five9 said, “With winter on the horizon, the NHS must find new ways to ease extreme pressures.
“UK ambulance services are facing unprecedented demand, yet nearly half of these are being overwhelmed by non-life threatening calls – with just two calls needing urgent care out of every ten.
“Most of these are still being operated manually – meaning there is no way to prioritize or divert patients before they reach the call handlers.
“Fortunately, technologies such as AI can help facilitate faster response times – screening callers before they make their way to call handlers and streamlining costs. Despite this, 91% of UK ambulance trusts are not currently using AI for call handling.
“The NHS is in a crisis, and action needs to be taken so front-line staff feel supported and patients can get the care they need, when they need it.”
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