Ambulance service busiest time in Harlow coming up

Communities / Wed 7th Dec 2016 am31 11:31am

THE ambulance service’s busiest winter period is imminent – and the public are being urged: ‘Don’t be that person and use 999 for anything’.

Last December, 90,364 emergency calls were handled by East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) control rooms in December, up from 84,291 in December 2014. The 19th was the busiest for the whole area, with call handlers taking 3,216 calls and coinciding with the busiest Christmas ‘party weekend’.

Kevin Brown, Director of Service Delivery, said: “Sadly people will use 999 ‘just because’ but we need them to take a totally different stance. Anyone who has had to make a devastating 999 call because they’re with someone in cardiac arrest or with life-threatening injuries will be the first to say it’s not an easy call to make and for our call handlers the worst calls to hear. We prioritise people according to the most greatest need, and that means low priority calls may take longer to respond to. If you know the situation you’re in doesn’t need an emergency response, please think about alternatives so that we can prioritise our resources for those critically ill patients who need us most.”

The service also says prevention is a big factor in helping to reduce the need for 999 calls, and that without good medicine management and monitoring existing conditions can lead to complications. Slips, trips and falls can be avoided with good footwear, handrails, and avoiding very adverse icy and snowy weather. Carers of anyone more vulnerable to these should get prepared early when icy conditions are forecast. Carers of those with existing medical conditions such as diabetes and COPD) should ensure they have good stocks of medications.

And during the festive nights out at this time of year, ensuring any overindulgence in drink is managed with proper meals and soft drinks and water can help prevent unnecessary 999 calls.

Kevin added: “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.

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