ONLY DIAL 999 in an emergency — that's the stark message from Isle of Wight health bosses after one woman called for help because there was a rat in her living room and another because she had run out of mobile phone credit.
They were among a small number of people who called the Isle of Wight Ambulance Service unnecessarily, figures have revealed.
According to the figures, published by the Isle of Wight's NHS Trust, less than 0.5 per cent of the 40,000 emergency calls received each year at St Mary's Hospital are classed as inappropriate.
Chris Smith, head of the ambulance service, said such calls were a waste of resources and urged people not to call 999 when the 111 helpline might be more suitable for some medical issues.
"It is inevitable that when our resources are outstripped by the demand we have to be certain we are sending help to calls of genuine need. We need the public’s support and assistance to make sure our finite resources are used appropriately," he said.