MORE than 90 deliberate hoax calls have been made by people in North Wales to the Welsh Ambulance Service over the course of a year-and-a-half, it has been revealed.

Freedom of Information data obtained by the leader from the ambulance service reveals that from the beginning of 2022 up to July 2023, a total of 171,058 North Wales incidents were reported to the service.

Of those, 94 were confirmed to be 'hoax' calls - not to be confused with 'inappropriate' calls - with 58 being made in 2022 and 36 from January to July this year.

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Inappropriate calls to the service occur when the caller has a genuine clinical need - for example a cut finger or earache - but has made an ill-judged decision to call 999 when more appropriate options exist.

Hoax calls on the other hand refer to people who have gone to deliberate lengths to waste the Welsh Ambulance Service's time and resource - for example by calling a crew out to something which simply doesn’t exist.

Stephen Sheldon, Interim Head of Service in North Wales for the Welsh Ambulance Service, said: “Time spent dealing with hoax calls could be time spent helping others whose situation is life or death.

“It could be giving CPR instructions for someone in cardiac arrest or arranging help for the victim of a road traffic collision, which one day might be your loved one – how would you feel then?

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“Sending ambulance resources to what turns out to be nothing more than a hoax call is, at best, frustrating and, at worst, deadly.

“Misuse of 999 is highly irresponsible, not to mention a criminal offence, and we work closely with police to prosecute where possible.

“Please only to call 999 for serious and life-threatening emergencies.”