Ambulance crews told to ignore sat navs after dozens of 999 calls were diverted to slower routes


AMBULANCE crews have been told to shun sat navs after dozens on 999 calls were diverted to slower routes.

Some were described as serious incidents which “potentially led to harm”.

 Ambulance drivers have been instructed to look at road signs and use their local knowledge instead of relying on sat navs

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Ambulance drivers have been instructed to look at road signs and use their local knowledge instead of relying on sat navsCredit: Alamy

Crews have been told to “look at road signs” instead as part of a shake-up.

Those using sat navs in some of the country’s most heavily populated areas reported problems on call-outs last year.

SERIOUS INCIDENTS

It led to a probe by the South East Coast Ambulance Service Foundation Trust (SECAmb), which covers Surrey, East and West Sussex and Kent.

It found 36 incidents alone happened on the Isle of Thanet in Kent. There were also 41 others elsewhere.

A report said: “By February 2019 multiple incidents had been recorded. Two were declared serious incidents as they potentially led to harm.”

One potential cause was setting the sat nav to “lorry mode” which sent them on “incompatible” routes.

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Crews have since been advised to use local knowledge, follow road signs and only use sat navs for the last part of a journey.

A SECAmb spokesman said of the serious incidents: “While GPS was a contributory factor, it has been judged no harm occurred as a result.”

They added: “The occurrence of GPS incidents has started to reduce and we are closely monitoring the issue.”

 In some cases, the sat navs were set on 'lorry mode' and recommended routes that weren't compatible for ambulances

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In some cases, the sat navs were set on ‘lorry mode’ and recommended routes that weren’t compatible for ambulancesCredit: Getty
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