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Ambulance service warning over Bank Holiday weekend

Communities / Fri 22nd May 2015 at 05:18am

THE region’s ambulance service has issued advice for those enjoying an extra day off this bank holiday weekend – be prepared, aware, and care.

The guidance comes on the back of year-on-year increases in demand over bank holidays – with the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) responding to 10% more calls over the four-day Easter holiday and seven per cent more over the early May long weekend.

Marcus Bailey, Consultant Paramedic for the Trust, said: “Members of the public can certainly take measures to ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday. We would urge anyone who is drinking to do so in moderation and to alternate alcoholic drinks with soft drinks or water as no-one wants to end their evening in A&E. If you’re having a barbecue, please ensure you light it safely and ensure that all your food is cooked thoroughly.”

Also:

remember to wear sun cream and insect repellent
pack something warm and be prepared for changes in the weather
keep your distance from the car in front to help avoid accidents
if you’re visiting an area that has open water please only enter in supervised areas – you don’t know what the water contains or how deep it is and you could quickly find yourself in difficulty
Marcus added that people need to plan ahead and think twice before dialling 999 for minor ailments.

He said: “If you’re unwell, get checked out in advance and think about how you will get care for yourself or others – such as elderly relatives or vulnerable neighbours – who may need medical care.

“If you are on prescription medication, make sure that you’ve collected your prescription prior to the weekend – as many pharmacists and doctors surgeries will be closed on Monday. And make sure your first aid kit is up to date with over-the-counter pain killers, after-sun, plasters, and antihistamines.

“We want to get to the most serious patients as quickly as possible so if it’s a genuine emergency then don’t hesitate to call 999 straight away.”

For non-emergency medical conditions, EEAST is recommending that people call 111, visit an out of hours GP or community pharmacy, or go to the NHS Choices website (www.nhs.uk) for information on minor conditions or local health services.

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