Ambulance boss appeals to Norfolk people to stay well and ease pressure on service over New Year

Robert Morton

Robert Morton - Credit: Archant

Ambulance bosses have praised staff and volunteers for helping thousands of 999 callers and patients this Christmas – and urged the public to stay well and ease pressure over the coming days.

Between 7pm on Christmas Eve to 11pm on Boxing Day, control rooms at the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust received 6,017 calls, slightly down on the 6,155 over the same period last year.

But calls from Norfolk were up to 974 compared to 956 last year, while calls from Suffolk also increased from 786 to 810.

Chief executive Robert Morton thanked staff for dealing with what he described as 'a busy time in an already challenging winter'.

He said: 'We know that when someone calls 999, it can be a traumatic time for them; during Christmas it can be particularly hard because it should be a time of celebration and enjoyment.

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'Our staff and volunteers worked extremely hard to help respond to every call in the most appropriate way possible, and we hope everyone we treated is recovering well enough to be able to enjoy what's left of the festivities.'

The service faces its traditionally busiest day of the year on New Year's Day.

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Mr Morton said: 'This week will mean more demand on our service as people recover from the weekend's break and unfortunately may have worsening conditions, and so please help us spread the vital health messages with friends and family.

'By taking some simple steps with your health, wellbeing and safety, the chances of you needing any emergency care are greatly reduced and you can get on with enjoying the best of the season.

'Would you want a member of your family to have to wait for an ambulance because we are already responding to someone whom has really overdone it? Would you want a loved one who is working for the ambulance service to be threatened or assaulted while responding to an alcohol related 999 calls?'

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