Health minister visits ambulance service’s emergency calls centre in Bicester

Health minister Lord Howe, pictured listening to a 999 call in South Central Ambulance Service emergency operations centre at Bicester.
Health minister Lord Howe, pictured listening to a 999 call in South Central Ambulance Service emergency operations centre at Bicester.
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Health minister Lord Howe got the chance to experience a day in the life of an emergency call operator when he visited South Central Ambulance Service’s (SCAS) Bicester headquarters this week.

On Monday, the minister met SCAS CEO Will Hancock, trust chair Trevor Jones and members of the trust board before visiting the trust’s emergency operations centre.

He listened to a number of emergency calls, to find out how the service responds to medical emergencies.

He said: “South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust’s two call centres take 1,030 emergency calls a day – 300 of which may be life threatening.

“My visit provided a fascinating insight into the trust’s work in responding to rising demand, minimising hand-over times, and piloting 111.

“I was able to see first hand the dedication of staff in responding to a high volume of diverse calls.

“I am particularly grateful to the staff at the emergency operations centre in Bicester for the opportunity to learn more about their work and the pressures they face.”

Will Hancock, SCAS CEO said: “The trust is delighted that Lord Howe chose to visit our Bicester headquarters to see our 999 and NHS 111 services in action.”

The average cost of each incident the service attends is £247.