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Ambulance service phone system fails as emergency calls diverted to neighbouring trusts



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Ambulance services in West Norfolk have been disrupted today after a system fault meant calls had to be diverted to other trusts.

Bosses of the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) say the issue has now been resolved and systems are working again.

But the problem is likely to raise further questions about the pressure being placed on the organisation ahead of the peak winter period.

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A statement posted on the trust's website this evening said: "Shortly before 2.30pm today our Computer Aided Dispatch and telephony systems experienced a failure.

"The national contingency plan was enacted and 999 calls were rerouted to neighbouring ambulance services while the fault was traced and fixed.

"Our systems are now up and running.

"We also liaised with other blue-light services to ensure they were aware and could contact us by other means.

"We would like to thank our staff who have worked incredibly hard to support patients and our ambulance partners who assisted during this time."

In September, a report to Norfolk county councillors revealed the trust was preparing to call on military and fire service support as one of several potential measures to help deal with winter pressures.

Senior officials said they were already operating some of their winter plans at that point because of the scale of demand.



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