SBD question eCall effect on ambulance service workload | Smart Highways Magazine: Industry News

SBD question eCall effect on ambulance service workload

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The leading telematics and ITS consultant, SBD, is warning that the implementation of eCall technology could have a significant effect on the emergency services.

The system, which makes an emergency call automatically after a car accident in which airbags are deployed, is being rolled out across Europe, although the Government here is not keen because it is not cost effective due to lower accident rates than other parts of the continent.

But Milton Keynes-based SBD is warning that the arrival of public eCall services across Europe could lead to a significant number of false calls, either deliberate or accidental and that National PSAPs (Public Safety Access Points) and emergency services will need to be prepared and funded for this additional workload.

It refers to a report in The Guardian which said “Ambulance “frequent fliers” who make several 999 calls a year are costing the NHS in England millions of pounds, with experts concerned that some patients develop an unhealthy pattern of dependent behaviour on the service.

“Though most callers have genuine unmet medical needs – few are malicious or hoaxers – the scale of the problem becomes evident as hospital A&E departments get to grips with another winter of rising demands on services. Ambulance service leaders and local health commissioners are keen to focus increasingly tight budgets on patients at more imminent risk.”

SBD says the complex processes and unresolved issues related to eCall deployment in Europe, Russia and the Middle East are analysed in its quarterly Connected Car Government Guide.  For more information contact


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