THE East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust is urging the public to be prepared this Bank Holiday weekend to help avoid unnecessary 999 calls.
After receiving more than 9,100 emergency 999 calls last August Bank Holiday weekend, ambulance bosses are asking people to plan ahead, know what health care services are available to them during this time and most importantly, to use the most appropriate service should the need arise.
The Trust experienced a 9 per cent increase in calls during the 2016 August bank holiday weekend. The most common calls were for falls (1,354), general sickness (707), breathing problems (565), chest pain (560). We also attended to more than 300 traumatic injuries during the long weekend.
The following steps can ensure you stay well during the forthcoming long weekend:
If you or a family member has a long-term health condition, make sure you have enough prescription medication to get you through the long weekend.
Heading away for a few days? Remember to pack all your required medications, including inhalers.
Stock up on over the counter pain relief and antihistamines.
Have you checked your first aid kit? We all forget about it until we actually need it again – did you restock after using it the last time? Find out what should be your first aid kit
Daniel Phillips, an area clinical lead for EEAST, said: “There are some simple steps that people can take to help ensure they stay well and avoid a call to the ambulance service. By having enough of your medications with you and some self-care remedies stocked up – just in case – you can help avoid unnecessary 999 calls”.
“We’d always ask the public to think about what it is they are calling 999 for and whether another option is available to them if it is not life-threatening or serious. There are other options such as NHS 111, walk-in centres, out of hours GPs and pharmacies for minor ailments.
“There are lots of things that no one can plan for and in those life-threatening or serious medical emergency situations – we are here to help”.
County breakdown of the number of emergency calls during August bank holiday weekend 2016 (2015 is in brackets):
Bedfordshire – 873 (849)
Cambridgeshire – 1,123 (1,095)
Essex – 2,992 (2,626)
Hertfordshire –1,463 (1,491)
Norfolk – 1,444 (1,301)
Suffolk – 1,276 (1,019)