THE ambulance service has revealed people have dialled 999 for head lice, having a broken kettle, a blister and other non-emergency issues, it has revealed.

The North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) revealed it had more than one million 999 calls this year, but 37 per cent of them, more than 370,000, were not in need of an ambulance.

The service has released a video showing examples of the non-emergency calls, including someone stubbing their toe, an adult with head lice and a patient with a blister, as well as several animal related calls, including a dog that had been attacked and a cat that had been run over.

Talking about receiving these calls, Graham Lawrenson, emergency medical dispatcher at NWAS said: "I was on the phone to a woman who had hit a male whilst driving her car, leaving him unconscious.

"I was worried for both of them but kept calm, as I needed to give her instructions to help save his life.

"But I soon discovered that 'he' was in fact a rabbit.

"The contrast between how this call started and how it ended shows that some people still don't understand when to use the 999 emergency service.

"Unfortunately, we can't send NHS ambulances to animals."

The video stars one of the service's emergency medical dispatchers, who handles 999 calls, and highlights some of the more bizarre calls the service has received in a bid to remind people when to call the service.

Ged Blezard, director of operations at NWAS, said: "Our emergency call handlers are the heart of the ambulance service and their advice and guidance over the phone can often be the difference between life and death.

"We have created this video, which includes some of the most ridiculous calls made to our emergency number, to make people think about how these types of calls can affect the service, and the situations in which they should dial 999.

"We understand that people panic or need help for situations that are concerning to them, but reporting a broken kettle, or out of reach toilet paper, which are both real calls featured in the video, can stop us from saving the life of a person in a real emergency.

"Winter is always the busiest time of year for the ambulance service with 999 calls increasing as the weather turns colder and the party season gets underway.

"More than ever, we need the public to use common sense so we can help people who need us most."

Examples of genuine emergencies include cardiac arrest, loss of consciousness, confused state, fits that are not stopping, chest pain, breathing difficulties, severe bleeding, severe allergic reactions, burns and scalds, suspected stroke, suspected heart attack, fall from height, serious head injury, stabbing, shooting and serious road traffic incidents.