Background: Prompt ambulance attendance is aimed at improving patient care. With finite resources struggling to meet performance targets, unforeseen demand precludes the ability to tailor resources to cope with increased call volumes, and can have a marked detrimental effect on performance and hence patient care. The effects of the 2006 World Cup football matches on call volumes and profiles were analysed to understand how public events can influence demands on the ambulance service.
Methods: All emergency calls to the Hampshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust (currently the Hampshire Division of South Central Ambulance Service, Winchester, UK) during the first weekend of the 2006 World Cup football matches were analysed by call volume and classification of call (call type).
Results: On the day of the first football match, call volume was over 50% higher than that on a typical Saturday, with distinct peaks before and after the inaugural match. Call profile analysis showed increases in alcohol-related emergencies, including collapse, unconsciousness, assault and road traffic accidents. The increase in assaults was particularly marked at the end of each match and increased again into the late evening.
Conclusion: A detailed mapping of call volumes and profiles during the World Cup football shows a significant increase in overall emergency calls, mostly alcohol related. Mapping of limited resources to these patterns will allow improved responses to emergency calls.
- AMPDS, Advanced Medical Priority Dispatch System
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Competing interests: None declared.
Contributors: CDD, FT and CG were involved in the study protocol. CG and MG were responsible for clinical data collection. All were responsible for data analysis and writing up of the results. All made critical revisions to the manuscript. CD is the guarantor.