‘Absolutely not helpful’ Dr Hilary fumes as he issues warning to viewers over 999 calls

Dr Hilary was back in the Good Morning Britain studio this morning with Ben Shepherd and Ranvir Singh to answer viewer questions about the coronavirus pandemic. But as he gave advice, he explained how he was stopped on his way home yesterday as he helped a member of the public who had been knocked off their bike. He went on to note viewers should only call 999 if it was an emergency.

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Dr Hilary has been a staple on ITV since the coronavirus panic began and is known for giving an honest look at where the UK is. 

But today, Dr Hilary asked if he could take a moment to speak directly to the GMB viewers. 

He said: “There is just one point I would like to make if I have time. 

“I was on my way home after the show yesterday and there were some people stopping cars in the road and someone had been knocked off their bike.

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“The ambulance came and I was able to hand it over to the girls, the paramedics who weren’t wearing any PPE because they didn’t have any, which is bad enough on its own.

“And I said, ‘You must be very busy’ and they told me they have been inundated with calls that are unnecessary.

“And I think a lot of people are panicking and concerned and I understand but because they can’t get through quickly to 111 or their GP, they are calling 999.

“That is absolutely not helpful. The paramedics are doing a fantastic job looking after people who are genuinely and severely ill with respiratory distress and things we deal with every day like strokes and heart attacks. 

“We really don’t need them being tied up with things that aren’t urgent.

“Get advice first before you call 999 because we need these guys to be free to do what they need to do.”

Ben chipped in: “They didn’t have the PPE they have been promised?”

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Dr Hilary continued: “They don’t have enough masks and before they got to the scenes they had to ask if the casualty had a temperature, which is difficult to determine when we are meant to stay two metres away.

“The paramedics are being diverted, so again think about it before you call 999 and get advice first.”

Earlier in the show the three spoke about coronavirus testing and whether the government is doing enough. 

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Dr Hilary explained: “It’s better to have 10,000 tests that are reliable and work than 25,000 tests and a third of them don’t work.

“We have to remember that testing is only valuable when the results are reliable.

“Other countries we know have had to send tests back because they weren’t reliable and that puts patients and staff in a dangerous position, so we have too few.

“We dramatically need to improve the number of tests being done.”

Good Morning Britain continues on ITV tomorrow at 6am. 

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