Ambulance service declares 'critical incident' after technical fault
An ambulance service has declared a critical incident after IT issues caused a failure of the system used to deploy ambulances.
South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) reported technical issues, which resulted in the loss of its computer-aided dispatch system, which is used to triage calls and deploy ambulance resources to incidents.
The service has moved to backup telephone systems as it tries to work with IT providers to rectify the fault.
A spokesman for SECAmb urged people to only call 999 in the event of a serious emergency amid "high demand" across the region and to make use of the NHS 111 service online for help and advice.
The spokesman said: "SECAmb has tonight (November 10) declared a critical incident following IT issues which resulted in the loss of our computer-aided dispatch (CAD) and the need to move to our backup telephone systems.
"While we are working hard with our IT providers to find a solution to the issue, and have implemented well-rehearsed contingency plans, the loss of the CAD, along with the high demand we are facing across our region tonight, is placing significant pressure on our services.
"We continue to answer calls and respond to patients but urge people to only call 999 in the event of a serious emergency and to make use of services including NHS 111 online for help and advice.
"We would like to thank our staff and volunteers for their hard work and commitment at this challenging time and assure the public that we are doing everything we can to resolve the issue as quickly as possible."