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‘Stay safe over the Easter break and only use 999 for emergencies’

01 April 2015

That’s the message from the region’s ambulance service as they get ready for one of their busiest weekends of the year.

Usually during the four-day Easter bank holiday weekend, Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust experiences a significant increase in 999 calls and they anticipate being kept just as busy this year.

To help ensure emergency ambulances are kept available for those who need them most the service is urging people to keep themselves and others safe and reminding those with minor conditions to consider the range of other healthcare services available.

Dr David Macklin, Executive Director of Operations, confirmed that bank holidays traditionally result in higher volumes of 999 calls which can put valuable resources under pressure. He said: “Typically more people will be out and about with friends and family during the Easter break and this can lead to more people becoming ill or injured and requiring medical attention.  We usually see a rise in alcohol-fuelled incidents too.

“We don’t want to stop people having a good time or deter them from calling 999 in a genuine emergency but we are asking people to look after themselves and others and think carefully about whether an emergency ambulance is the most appropriate service for their needs if they become ill or injured.”

The ambulance service is also keen to ensure people are aware of the range of healthcare services available for advice and treatment for non-emergencies and less serious conditions such as a local pharmacy, NHS 111, minor injuries unit or walk-in-centre.

Dr David Macklin continued: “Our clinically-trained staff often find themselves responding to patients who have reported a serious condition only to find they have a minor illness or injury which would have been more effectively dealt with by a more appropriate service for their needs.

“Whilst many people do use our emergency service appropriately, some callers do need to be reminded about the importance of making the right choice about their healthcare needs and the NHS Choices website is a good place to start with helpful information and advice on many common conditions, treatments and local services – www.nhs.uk

“We are also urging people to stock up on medication to manage common health conditions, make sure they have sufficient prescription medicine to last them over Easter and remember to pack their medication if they are going away.

“We want to make sure that people remember this Easter for all the right reasons and, more importantly, that our ambulance crews are there for those who need them most.  Please act responsibly and enjoy the Easter celebrations safely.”

Produced By: Corporate Communications Department