England

Ambulance service urges 999 restraint over holidays

People are being urged not to call 999 unless it is a real emergency over the Easter bank holidays.

The North West Ambulance Service said last Easter it received a significant increase in calls, but many were for minor injuries or illnesses.

It said the ambulance should be used as a life-line in genuine emergencies and kept for those who need it most.

Those with non-emergency illnesses are being encouraged to use NHS walk-in centres or visit the pharmacist.

Derek Cartwright, Director of Paramedic Emergency Service, said: "The high volume of calls we traditionally receive during the bank holiday periods puts the service under increased strain and makes it harder for us to ensure we can get to all patients quickly.

"Typically more people will be out and about socialising which can lead to more people becoming ill or injured, and as many people like to enjoy an alcohol drink during the four-day holiday, we usually see a rise in alcohol-fuelled incidents too."

He said the service did not want to deter people from calling for help but just to remind people to think carefully before they do so.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites