LISTEN to the AUDIO: Stratford shopper with sore feet calls for an ambulance


West Midlands Ambulance Service are reminding people not to make inappropriate 999 calls after a 32-year-old shopper in Stratford called the service to complain about having sore feet.

The woman, who claimed her feet were hurting, told emergency dispatchers that she would be unable to walk the two miles back to her home.

She said she had been out shopping all day and needed a lift back to her home.

When told that if there was a medical reason why she couldn’t walk an ambulance would take her to hospital but not simply back home, the woman became angry and eventually ended the call.

The ambulance service says it is not unusual for them to receive calls such as this and they can lead to delays in responding to real emergencies elsewhere.

NHS worker Jo Bird tweeted: “Female-age 32 has just called 999 as her feet are hurting after being out shopping all day & wants a ride home #999abuse #notataxiservice.”

  • Lou Cifer

    This woman needs naming and shaming..

    • Archie

      The woman has mental health problems – no need to name and shame.

      • 1jamessmith1

        Archie, on what basis of fact do you make that comment?

  • wicked messenger

    anyone recognise the voice?

    • Archie


  • Archie

    If anyone wishes to blame this woman, think twice. Why not blame the NHS for the joke that they call mental health treatment. If you can’t bring yourself to blame the NHS, then blame the govt.

    • Lou Cifer

      Good point Archie, so why have the relevant organisations released details of this call as surely its private and subsequently this audio clip has gone viral making her a laughing stock which could further affect her current health status.

      1. archie how do you know she has a mental health issue?
      2. she needs a good lawyer.
      3. i blame the system not the gov.
      4. i hope she gets better

      • Archie

        I have registered complaints with the BBC (who have reported this story), and West Mids Ambulance Service for releasing the recording.

        • Lou Cifer

          Well done.

  • Christian

    Regardless of any potential mental health problems the call was relating to a person ringing 999 with sore feet. West Midlands have released this call to educate people that 999 is for life threatening emergencies only such as Stroke, Heart attack etc etc. It costs the tax payer £280 every time an ambulance attends a call! The second is overloaded as it is the 999 service as a whole gets approx 32 million calls a year with just over half being inappropriate or hoax calls.

  • 1jamessmith1

    this sort needs fining, even if it is paid as hours charity work or community service