Surge in Scottish ambulance calls at new year

Ambulance control room Image copyright Scottish Ambulance Service
Image caption The ambulance service said extra staff are always on duty at Hogmanay

Calls to the Scottish Ambulance Service were up by 38% this new year, compared with the same period last year.

Between 19:00 on Hogmanay and 07:00, ambulance control centres received 2,565 calls.

The early hours of the morning were particularly busy. The 1,879 calls received after midnight represented a 45% increase on last year.

The ambulance service said additional call handlers, dispatchers and ambulance crews were on duty.

Chief executive Pauline Howie said: "The festive period has been a challenge for the service, due to a significant increase in demand and pressures on the system.

"Yet again, our staff in our control centres, on the frontline, support staff and volunteers have risen to this challenge and showed what an incredible group of dedicated people they are.

"Working in often challenging and relentless circumstances, they did a fantastic job of managing and responding to this big increase in demand and showed that across the country, we continue to strive to deliver the highest level of care to our patients."

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