Ambulance trust experiences 17pc rise in 999 calls made during Easter

East of England ambulance control centre in Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith

East of England ambulance control centre in Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Archant © 2013

The region's ambulance trust took around 700 more calls during Easter in Norfolk and Suffolk compared to the same period in 2015, new figures have revealed.

East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST), which is missing emergency response time targets in East Anglia, picked up 3,607 emergency calls in Norfolk and Suffolk, and another 1,692 in Cambridgeshire.

In total more than 12,300 calls were made to EEAST, compared to 10,500 last Easter.

That equates to a rise in demand of 17pc.

Robert Morton, chief executive of EEAST, said: 'I'd like to thank all of my colleagues for their hard work during another busy bank holiday weekend and all the community first responders who dedicated their spare time to help patients during the Easter break.'


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Despite the large rise in demand over the period, there was only a 1.2pc increase in the number of incidents EEAST sent a response to compared to Easter 2015.

This was credited with having more clinicians in control-rooms to help with calls.

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Mr Morton said: 'The measures we have put in place such as having more clinicians in control-rooms, including GPs, means that we can give advice over the phone and ensure that our ambulance crews and clinicians on the road are focused more on seeing patients with life-threatening or serious conditions.'

According to the trust:

- Saturday was the busiest day of the Easter weekend, with more than 3,200 emergency calls handled - 700 more calls than last Easter.

- The trust received 3,097 on Good Friday and 2,956 on Monday.

- Community first responders helped the trust by attending 390 medical emergencies during the long weekend.

- The trust sent a response to 9,188 incidents during the four-day Easter period, compared to 9,076 in Easter 2015.

- The trust responded to almost 1,300 falls.

- Almost 350 choking cases were reported to the trust.

The trust's 'It's your call' campaign helps inform people and educate others on how 999 calls are handled and prioritised so that in the event of a medical problem, they feel better equipped to know what to do.

For more information, visit http://www.eastamb.nhs.uk/News-and-Media/Campaigns/its-your-call.htm

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