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Busy Start to 2014 for Yorkshire Ambulance Service

01 January 2014

As thousands across Yorkshire and the Humber welcomed in the New Year to the sound of clinking glasses and fireworks, the region’s ambulance service was working exceptionally hard.

This year Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust received 1,480 emergency calls over the 12-hour period from 18.00 on 31 December 2013 to 06.00 on 1 January 2014 (866 of these (59%) were between midnight and 06.00). The busiest time was in the early hours of the morning and between midnight and 03.00 there were 55 emergency calls to assaults.

New Year’s Day so far is slightly busier than last year with 4% more incidents between midnight and 08.00. Many of the calls received have been alcohol-related with large numbers of people celebrating the festivities.

New Year’s Eve is typically a time when ambulance staff are caught up dealing with people who have drunk excessively or have sustained alcohol-fuelled injuries and this year was no exception. Yorkshire Ambulance Service prepared for this increase in demand and placed static medical units in Leeds, Sheffield and Hull which treated 32 patients.

In addition, police and paramedic teams were operational in busy town and city centres. Both initiatives helped to free up emergency ambulances for those who were more seriously ill or injured and diverted extra pressure away from hospital emergency departments.

David Williams, Deputy Director of Operations at Yorkshire Ambulance Service, said: “New Year’s Eve is always a busy time for us and this year followed the trend of recent years. We received a high volume of alcohol-related calls, particularly in the early hours of the morning.

“Our static medical units and police and paramedic teams provided valuable support and were able to treat people who had too much to drink or those who had sustained minor injuries without them needing to go to hospital.

“In the early hours of New Year’s Day we received a significant number of emergency calls to patients who had been assaulted while out celebrating the start of 2014. Clearly this is distressing for those directly involved, but it also places extra pressure on us and partner services.

“New Year’s Eve aside, demand for our service is increasing year-on-year. So our New Year’s message for 2014 is to remind members of the public to use the 999 service wisely, choose their healthcare options appropriately and help us to ensure our vital resources are available for those with a genuine medical emergency.”

For minor illnesses and injuries people should consider self-care or using other NHS services such as pharmacies, GP surgeries and walk-in centres or call NHS 111 for advice.

Produced By: Corporate Communications Department