The NHS North West Ambulance Service declared a major incident on Monday evening due to an exceptionally high level of calls.
Patients faced delays waiting for care and waiting for 999 calls to be answered during the evening and members of the public were urged to only phone 999 for life-threatening emergencies.
The major incident was announced on the service’s Twitter profile at 18:30 and it was later announced that it had been stood down shortly after 21:00.
According to the service, it had received 2,266 emergency 999 calls between midday and 20:00 on Monday, an increase of 36% compared to the same period 7 days earlier.
Around 15% of the calls were relating to COVID-19 and the rest of the calls are said to have been varied.
At 21:06, the service said that it had started to see a reduction in calls but urged people to only phone 999 for a life-threatening condition.
The declaration of a major incident by the service is understood to be rare and only used in especially severe circumstances.
The incident comes at a time where there are concerns about the NHS potentially becoming overwhelmed in the coming months due to sharp rises in COVID-19 cases.
Labour MP Lisa Nandy tweeted to say the news was ‘really concerning’ and said ‘thank you so much to our amazing ambulance crews. You are the best’