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One house in Maidstone responsible for nearly 600 emergency calls to ambulance service

Ambulance crews were called to 595 emergency calls from one private address in one year.

The astonishing figure came to light following a freedom of information request by the KM Group that exposed the full extent of the volumes of 999 calls from a handful of properties across the county.

Another address in Tonbridge was responsible for 467 calls while another in Swanscombe generated 446.

hundreds of calls have come from one address
hundreds of calls have come from one address

Although the precise nature of the alerts or the homes themselves have not been disclosed, we can reveal that of the hundreds of calls from the Swanscombe address, between April 2015 and March this year, 13 resulted in a person being taken to hospital.

Other repeat requests came from an address in Dover that called for an ambulance 218 times, and an address in Gravesend that called 217 times, placing them 9th and 10th respectively in the top ten.

Despite the relatively low proportion of calls resulting in someone being taken to hospital, SECAmb said the overwhelming majority of 999 and 111 callers did so with legitimate health care requirements.

A spokesman said: “The identification and management of those who access emergency and urgent health care at an abnormally high level could lead to the identification of individuals who are at risk, vulnerable or have an unmet health or social care need.

“The trust has shown significant success of the strategies we have employed to manage the complex needs of a relatively small pool of frequent callers.”

While the number of calls was “significantly reduced” compared to the previous financial year, the trust has repeatedly acknowledged in recent months that it was struggling to cope with the demand.

Earlier this month, a spokesman said: “SECAmb and the NHS as a whole continues to be extremely busy.

“We continue to face higher demand than we would usually expect at this time of year, meaning it is taking us longer than we would like to attend some calls.

“We are working closely with our colleagues across the NHS to manage this demand and would like to thank them and the public for their support.”

Ambulance crew was at the scene. Stock picture.
Ambulance crew was at the scene. Stock picture.

In June the trust apologised for delays in reaching patients, having responded to almost 350,000 calls since January – an increase of 30,000 incidents compared to the same period last year.

Acting chief executive Geraint Davies said: “The demand on the trust continues to be extremely high and, as ever, all our staff are rising to the challenge and I’m extremely proud of their commitment and effort.

“I’d also like to apologise that it is taking us longer than we would like and expect to respond to patients.

“I want to reassure the public that improving our performance and improving the service we provide to all our patients is my top priority.”

The complete top ten list of addresses calling for an ambulance in the South East for the 2015/16 financial year is:

  1. Maidstone – 595 calls and five ambulances needed.
  2. Hove – 521 calls and 14 ambulances needed.
  3. Tonbridge – 467 calls and two ambulances needed.
  4. Swanscombe – 446 calls and 13 ambulances needed.
  5. Caterham – 416 calls and five ambulances needed.
  6. Brighton – 289 calls and 102 ambulances needed.
  7. Polegate – 274 calls and nine ambulances needed.
  8. Hove – 225 calls and 123 ambulances needed
  9. Dover – 218 calls and 70 ambulances needed.
  10. Gravesend – 217 calls and 35 ambulances needed.
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