Press release: Chief asks people to get 'winterwise' after high new year demand on 999 service

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Demand on our 999 ambulance service peaked on New Year’s Day - and bosses are urging people to be ‘winter wise’ to help support their own care as winter takes a hold.

Call handlers dealt with 3,345 calls in control rooms on 1st January - and took 956 calls alone between midnight and 5am.

In 2015, the figure for New Year's Day was marginally higher at 3,376 and was the busiest day of last year.

Chief Executive Robert Morton praised staff and volunteers for helping the thousands of patients: “We are at our busiest at the end of December into the new year every winter and this past week or so was no exception. Not only is it the increased likelihood people have accidents and illnesses because they’re out and about more and enjoying the celebrations,  it’s also about management of long-term health conditions, people’s normal access to care routines suspended, and other factors more unique to this time of year.

“As we look to the rest of winter now, we want those more at risk to ensure they’ve had their flu jab, that people are well prepared for adverse weather, and that communities pull together to ensure the health and safety of one another doesn’t drop down the list of priorities.”

The breakdown of calls and responses for the region on New Year’s Day were as follows (last year’s in brackets):

  • Bedfordshire: 368 (307)
  • Cambridgeshire: 495 (477)
  • Essex: 1, 011 (1,050)
  • Hertfordshire: 538 (581)
  • Norfolk: 512 (510)
  • Suffolk : 421 (451)
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