East of England Ambulance Service Trust Christmas Day calls increase

Ambulance crews in the East region have responded to more emergency calls on Christmas Day than the same time last year, figures have revealed.

The East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) took 2,717 Christmas Day calls, 40 more than in December 2012.

A trust spokeswoman said that was about 300 more calls than on an average day.

Across Essex, Norfolk, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Suffolk, the EEAST took 7,813 calls between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day.

The trust said this was a decrease of about 360 calls over the three days of the Christmas period compared to 2012.

On Christmas Day, 1,241 patients were taken to hospitals across the region.

Rob Ashford, acting director of service delivery, said that "whilst it's encouraging we've seen a slight decrease in the number of calls compared to the same period last year, we're still seeing an increase each Christmas Day".

"We will continue to be under pressure over the weekend and into next week, with New Year's Eve and New Year's Day typically being our busiest days of the year.

"We're urging members of the public to familiarise themselves with the winter health advice on our website, and to think twice before calling 999 about other options that may be available."

The trust said about 30% of patients attended over the Christmas period had suffered a life-threatening condition, such as cardiac arrest, a suspected stroke or serious wounds.

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