Help us to help you this ‘Mad Friday’

18 December 2019

two emergency ambulances

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust is anticipating an increase in alcohol-related calls as it prepares for this Friday (20 December 2019), the last Friday before Christmas.

The ambulance service is asking the public to drink responsibly as last year on ‘Mad Friday’ (21 December 2018) they took 15% more calls than the average Friday. ‘Mad Friday’ is a popular day for Christmas parties and for many the day they break up from work for Christmas and head out to celebrate with family and friends.

Dr Steven Dykes, Deputy Medical Director at Yorkshire Ambulance Service, said: “Every year we receive numerous calls for alcohol-related incidents that could have been avoided. We don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun, but it’s important the ambulance service is available to those who need it most - for people in life-threatening emergencies.

“If you’re enjoying a few alcoholic drinks whilst celebrating over this festive period, please be sensible and don’t ruin your celebrations by ending up in the back of an ambulance.”

You can avoid putting unnecessary pressure on the ambulance service at its busiest time of the year by making sure you:

  • Plan your journey home before you head out. Book a taxi or check the time of the last bus or train.
  • Eat before drinking.
  • Stick to safer drinking levels - consider lower strength drinks and stick to singles rather than doubles.
  • Alternate alcoholic drinks with soft drinks or water.
  • Look after each other – make sure everyone you’re celebrating with is safe and able to get home.

Heavy drinking can increase the risk of accidents and the likelihood of a rise in A&E admissions. It can also lead to more break-outs of violence, including attacks and assaults towards ambulance staff.

Steven said: “Our staff are there to support people in their hour of need. Physical and verbal abuse against any member of NHS staff is completely unacceptable. We operate a zero-tolerance policy towards violence and we’re committed to supporting staff who encounter any aggressive behaviour. We all deserve to enjoy the festive period, including any NHS and emergency service staff on duty.”

If you do require urgent medical help, call our NHS 111 service where an advisor will assess your situation and offer the right medical advice and next steps for you.

Find out how you can ease pressure on Yorkshire Ambulance Service as it faces very high demand this winter by viewing the Trust’s #ChristmasWish messages on their website: https://www.yas.nhs.uk/news/campaigns-and-events/campaigns-and-events-2019/christmaswish-campaign/

Produced by: Corporate Communication Department