Ambulance service urge people to plan ahead for May Bank Holiday

Communities / Wed 29th Apr 2015 at 11:25am

THE region’s ambulance service is urging people to plan ahead and stay safe this May bank holiday weekend.

Come rain or shine, many people will take the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors over the long weekend and a few simple precautions can help you avoid a trip to hospital. Simple steps like being prepared for both cold and warm weather, stocking up on repeat medications and being safe when outside can make all the difference.

Marcus Bailey, Consultant Paramedic for the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST), said: “Bank holidays mean people are out and about or enjoying the outdoors more than they might normally be, increasing the risk of accidents, injury or illness. Before you go out, make sure you are prepared by wearing the right clothing, use sun cream if it is warm and carry the appropriate medication if you have an allergy.

Last year, the Trust received 10,760 calls and made 8,339 responses between Friday and Monday over the May Day holiday period. It included:

*742 calls for people with breathing problems
​*204 calls concerning traffic incidents
​*Nearly 900 calls regarding general sickness

Many patients treated during bank holidays have long-term conditions but have run out of medical stocks, while some have ignored an underlying illness which worsens.

Marcus added: “If you’re unwell, get checked out in advance. Plan ahead if you need to take medication so that you’re not left short and think about how you will get care for yourself or someone else if you need to use an NHS service.

“We want to provide the best care possible and to be there as quickly as possible for those in a life-threatening emergency such as a stroke, heart attack, or for those with breathing difficulties. Using alternative NHS services such as calling 111, checking the NHS Choices website for information on minor conditions and local health services or visiting an out of hours pharmacy will go really far in helping us.”

County breakdown of calls received last May bank holiday weekend (Friday-Monday inclusive):

Bedfordshire: 1,102
​Cambridgeshire: 1,345
​Essex: 3,439
​Hertfordshire: 1,769
​Norfolk: 1,639
​Suffolk: 1,350

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