Ambulance 999 calls down in the East over Christmas but New Year peak still to come

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East of England Ambulance service dealt with slightly fewer calls over Christmas than last year but is gearing up for what is usually its busiest day of the year, New Year’s Day.

Between 7pm on Christmas Eve and 11pm on Boxing Day, control rooms at the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) received 6,017 calls, compared to 6,155 in 2014 and 5,468 in 2013.

However, the number of calls in Suffolk (810), Norfolk (974) and Cambridgeshire (804) were all slightly up on last year, but Essex (1,901), Bedfordshire (578) and Hertfordshire (950) were down on last year.

Chief Executive Robert Morton thanked patient-facing staff for dealing with w ‘a busy time in an already challenging winter’.

He said: “Our staff and volunteers worked extremely hard to help respond to every call in the most appropriate way possible, and we hope everyone we treated is recovering well enough to be able to enjoy what’s left of the festivities.”

The service faces its traditionally busiest day of the year on 1st January, and followers of @EastEnglandAmb on Twitter will see a live Twitterthon with an ambulance crew on the day. Last year, control rooms dealt with 3,376 calls.

Meanwhile, Mr Morton urged the public to help cut the rise in calls which peaks on New Year’s Day: “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 of the season.

“Would you want a member of your family to have to wait for an ambulance because we are already responding to someone whom has really overdone it?”

For more information, advice and directions to help about staying well, visit www.eastamb.nhs.uk