Ambulance service received 1000 additional calls on hottest day

An East of England Ambulance Trust ambulance. Photograph Simon Parker

An East of England Ambulance Trust ambulance. Photograph Simon Parker - Credit: Archant

The East of England Ambulance Service has revealed it received 1000 more calls than normal on the hottest day if the year.

Temperatures in Suffolk and Essex sweltered at 36.3C and 37.7C respectively on Thursday leading to calls from medical professionals to cover up and stay in the shade.

However, new figures from the East of England Ambulance show that the service received over 1,000 more calls than it would on an average day, jumping from 3,600 to 4,660.

The data covers all the areas managed by the ambulance service including Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.

As well as the figures themselves, ambulance chiefs also revealed that they were working on the second highest resource escalation action plan (REAP), which measures the pressures being experienced by the service.

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The levels reported by the East of England Ambulance Service indicate they were under significant pressure during last week's heatwave.

Marcus Bailey, acting chief operating officer at the service said: "For most of last week we were operating under high levels of pressure (Level 3 on the national Resource Escalation Action Plan, with Level 4 being the highest).

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"On Thursday, July 25, when the current heatwave peaked, we received over 4,660 calls - against an average 3,600 per day.

"Under this additional pressure, we prioritised patients with life-threatening conditions above other calls.

"We regret that some patients with less serious injuries did experience delays.

"We remain at Level Three and would urge the public once again to take basic self-care precautions in hot weather and to also think before calling 999.

"The ambulance service is for emergencies where you cannot get to hospital by other means.

"For all other medical enquiries, please call your GP or 111."

Ipswich Hospital confirmed last week that it had seen a surge in demand for its services.

A spokesman for the hospital said last week: "We have been exceptionally busy recently, we have had a big surge in demand at the hospital.

"But it is not just us, it is happening all over the east of England."

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