Weather: Sharp hike in ambulance calls

AMBULANCES were called to more than 6,000 incidents over the weekend, a sharp hike on last month’s figures.

East of England Ambulance Service said call out numbers for December 17-19 were nearly 20 per cent up compared with November 19-21.

The service - which covers Suffolk, Essex, Norfolk, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire - said 2,300 of the 6,000 were high-priority calls.

A trust spokeswoman added road traffic collisions, falls and people with breathing problems have all been a particular problem.

Hayden Newton, chief executive of the trust, said: “We had one of our busiest weekends ever over Friday, Saturday and Sunday and it looks as if high demand is set to continue along with the difficult weather conditions.

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“We want to thank the public for their patience so far but are appealing again for people to be sensible and helpful.

“If your condition can be treated by other NHS services that frees up an ambulance to get to someone who could be in a real life-threatening situation so please think before you dial and don’t call us again if help is already on its way unless your condition changes.

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“Our priority is to ensure we continue to answer emergency calls and respond appropriately to each of them wherever that emergency is.

“But the time and resources involved in attending people who don’t really need an ambulance means we can’t get to those who are more seriously ill.

“Please also think about any vulnerable people living nearby as well as friends and relatives whose lives could be saved by a simply call to check they are coping.”

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