Ambulance call-outs fell by almost 300 this New Year’s Eve compared to last year, with Essex by far and away the region’s busiest county.

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Emergency calls to the East of England Ambulance Service totalled 2,164 between 7pm-7am, compared to around 2,500 the previous year. Around 700 of this year’s calls resulted in people being taken to hospital.

Essex was responsible for 707 of the emergency calls across the service’s six counties. The next busiest county was Hertfordshire, where 386 calls were received from.

Suffolk was the second quietest county in the region with 255 calls.

The majority of call-outs were to treat people that had fallen over, although assault victims and sick patients were also common.

Many town and city centres had minor injury units setup to treat patients as 999 calls peaked just after midnight.

Control rooms reported that call demand began to rise early, which stretched the busy period for ambulance crews.

Acting director of service delivery, Rob Ashford, said: “While a downward trend, however slight, is good news and a sign that perhaps people are taking note of our advice, it’s still a very busy start to the year.

“My thanks and praise go out to all our staff and volunteers who worked during this difficult shift.

“They have all been working as hard as ever over the festive period and I’m proud of all those who have been carrying out lifesaving work for the trust over the past few days.”

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