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Surge in demand for ambulances

Surge in demand for ambulances

Published at 7:42pm 1st January 2016. (Updated at 8:10pm 1st January 2016)

People drinking excessively and alcohol-fuelled injuries have made the New Year period exceptionally busy for Yorkshire Ambulance Service.

At one stage, a 999 call was being received every 12 seconds.

Just over 1,300 calls were answered in the 12-hour period from 6pm on New Year's Eve to 6am on New Year's Day, including nearly 100 calls to assaults.

On New Year's Day, there has been a 15% increase in the most serious type of calls compared to last year.

Service bosses prepared for the increase in demand with community medical units, as well as police and paramedic teams operating in busy town and city centres.

Ben Holdaway, Locality Director at Yorkshire Ambulance Service, said: "As always, New Year’s Eve was a busy time for us and we received a high volume of alcohol-related calls, particularly in the early hours of the morning.

"Our community medical units and police and paramedic teams provided valuable support and were able to treat people who had too much to drink or those who had sustained minor injuries, without them needing to go to hospital.  

"In the early hours of New Year's Day, we received a significant number of emergency calls to patients who had been assaulted while out celebrating the start of 2016. Clearly this is distressing for those directly involved, but it also places extra pressure on us and partner services.

"New Year's Eve aside, demand for our service continues to increase. So, our New Year’s message for 2016 is to remind members of the public to use the 999 service wisely, choose their healthcare options appropriately and help us to ensure our vital resources are available for those with a genuine life-threatening emergency."