Ambulance service gearing up for busiest month in Harlow

Politics / Wed 2nd Dec 2015 at 03:59pm

THE ambulance service’s busiest month is on its way – and the public are being reminded what action they can take to help stay well and avoid becoming a 999 patient.

Last December, 84,291 999 calls were handled by East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) control rooms in December.

The 27th was the busiest for the whole Trust, with call handlers taking 3,111 calls. The average number of calls each day normally is 2,500.

The busiest December day in Essex was the 27th December with 1,050 calls, (joint with New Year’s Day).

With this in mind, ambulance bosses are urging the public to stay well, keeping track of NHS advice through the ‘Stay Well’ campaign and the service’s own Wise Up For Winter messaging.

Locality Director Rob Ashford said: “People falling ill over the Christmas period, and perhaps also having worsening long-term conditions, were certainly factors contributing to our busiest day in December last year. The period ahead of that is nearly as busy when people are enjoying get-togethers more frequently, with sickness and injury increasing on festive nights out.

“The threat of adverse weather such as snow and ice can also increase people’s risk of needing medical attention – slips, trips and falls are one of the main reasons we’re called during winter.

“Please help us spread the vital health messages with friends and family – all of our advice and directions to information about staying well can be found at www.eastamb.nhs.uk, on Facebook and on Twitter using #winterwise. By taking some simple steps with your health, wellbeing and safety, the chances of you needing any emergency care are greatly reduced and you can get on with enjoying the best bits of winter.”

The NHS ‘Stay well this winter’ campaign can be accessed by visiting www.nhs.uk/staywell.

Last winter, the service received 304,715 999 calls between November and February, 22,516 more than the previous year. Out of these, staff and volunteers responded to 263,750 patients.

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