‘Use service wisely’ says ambulance chief after spike in demand over Christmas

PUBLISHED: 15:31 27 December 2017

Archant

The public are being urged to use 999 wisely as the ambulance service continues to experience a huge surge in demand during the Christmas break.

The East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) says it experienced its busiest Christmas ever with what it described as “higher than expected levels of demand”.

Kevin Brown, director of service delivery for EEAST, said: “I would like to thank all of our staff and volunteers for their hard work over the Christmas period.

“It has been an incredibly busy one for the trust with high levels of demand, particularly on Boxing Day where we had one of our busiest days of the year with more than 4,200 calls.

“Today (Wednesday) is predicted to be another busy day, which has been compounded by snowy conditions in some parts of the region.

“The health system is experiencing this spike with us, and every trust is doing everything possible to work together for good patient outcomes.

“We will always prioritise patients with life-threatening conditions above other calls and that calling 999 should be for these sorts of emergencies only.”

People are being urged to use NHS Choices website, pharmacies, NHS 111, walk-in centres and GP surgeries if they require medical advice.

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