Paramedics in Suffolk experienced one of their busiest nights of the year at the weekend as revellers took to pubs and clubs to celebrate Christmas

Paul Leech

Paul Leech - Credit: Archant

Paramedics in Suffolk experienced one of their busiest nights of the year at the weekend as revellers took to the pubs and clubs of the county in their droves to celebrate Christmas.

And while many heeded the warnings of health chiefs to be safe, paramedics were still called out to dozens of incidents where people had been injured or were ill because of drink.

According to paramedics in Ipswich, Friday night was one of the busiest of the year with dozens of call outs for both alcohol-related and medical incidents.

Paul Leech, duty locality officer for east Suffolk, based in Ipswich, with the East of England Ambulance Service, said: “From a performance point of view, because of the extra resources we put on, we generally coped very well with the high demand over the weekend. It was difficult and challenging at times, especially during both evenings.

“Certainly I would say we are busier with more minor injuries and ailments overall and on top of that we do tend to be much busier with alcohol-related incidents and I think it is fair to say it does cause a great frustration amongst our staff at times.”

In total, paramedics took 59 people to Ipswich Hospital’s emergency department, including patients with medical issues. On the Saturday, they took 93 people to the emergency department.

The number of people conveyed followed the Trust-wide figure which saw 1,239 people taken to emergency departments in the region on Friday, compared with 1,407 for Saturday.

Most Read

The majority of alcohol-related incidents in Ipswich over the weekend took place in the area surrounding Ipswich town centre.

These included a man who collapsed in Crown Street on Friday night because of alcohol and drugs and a person who was intoxicated and unresponsive in Back Hamlet.

In Felixstowe Road, Ipswich, in the early hours of Saturday, paramedics were also called to a man who had collapsed, with the reason given that it was alcohol related.

Mr Leech added: “We were just as busy on the Friday but we were able to deal with more patients in the community.

“That suggests that more patients were in more medical need on the Saturday because of the fact we took a lot more patients in.”