Busy Bank Holiday for region’s ambulance service due to rise in 999 calls

15:54 22 April 2014

The East of England Ambulance Service.

The East of England Ambulance Service.

Archant

Staff at the region’s ambulance service were kept busy over the four-day Easter weekend – responding to more than 10,000 calls.

Calls to East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust over Easter Bank Holidya: County breakdown

Bedfordshire: 992

Cambridgeshire: 1,291

Essex: 3,028

Herts: 1,671

Norfolk: 1,587

Suffolk: 1,393

In total the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) received 10,013 calls and took 5,146 people to hospital over the Bank Holiday period.

The same weekend in 2013 saw 9,872 emergency calls being taken by the trust.

A spokesperson for EEAST said: “As expected we did see a rise in calls over the Bank Holiday weekend as families took to the roads for the Easter holidays, and people took advantage of the nice weather and time off work.

“Our call figures remained about average on Friday, but we did see a significant increase on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, with approximately an extra 200 calls being taken per day compared to the average of 2,300.

“However, we did see a reduction in calls in comparison to last Easter, which occured slightly earlier in the year than in 2014 and saw quite bad weather, which can impact on call volumes.”

Falls were the main reason for people calling EEAST over the Bank Holiday, with 1,522 calls relating to a fall of some description.

There were 212 calls regarding road traffic collisions, 116 calls for people with heart problems, and 857 for people suffering from general sickness.

The ambulance service also responded to several horse riding incidents, as well as injuries caused by people using the Easter break as a chance to do some DIY.

“We’d like to remind people of our advice issued before the Easter holidays and that is to only call 999 in a life-threatening emergency, such as some suffering from a stroke, heart attack, or with breathing difficulties, as well as for people that are unconscious or bleeding heavily,” added the spokesman.

“There are many alternative healthcare options available, including your GP and pharmacist, and of course the 111 helpline.”

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