More than 1,000 calls to East Midlands Ambulance service in four hours
MORE than 1,000 emergency calls were made to the region's ambulance service in the first four hours of 2013 – just over half the amount the trust usually takes in 24 hours.
East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust said the number of 999 calls it received on an average day was 2,000 but, on New Year's Day, it picked up 3,223.
This was down from 3,436 on January 1, 2012, but, of the 2013 calls, 1,074 were made between midnight and 4am and, overall, 1,336 of them were for people reported to be in an immediately life-threatening situation.
Peter Ripley, director of operations for the service, said staff had anticipated it would be a challenging day. And he said he expected the pressure to continue over the next few weeks.
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He said: "I pay tribute to our staff who worked on the frontline, our skilled staff answering calls received in our emergency operations centres and our clinicians out on the road.
"They did a truly magnificent job in challenging circumstances."
Mr Ripley said the trust also received help from community first responders – people on call to provide emergency first aid – the British Red Cross and St John Ambulance, among others.
He said: "I thank them for their dedication and support. The festive season may be over but we expect to continue receiving significant call numbers over the next few weeks. I urge people to use the right NHS services available for treatment of minor illnesses or injuries."
He said GPs, walk-in centres and the non-emergency 111 number were more suitable services for minor ailments.