Ambulance crews deal with record number of calls

Ambulance crews deal with record number of calls

Published at 12:29pm 30th December 2014. (Updated at 12:32pm 30th December 2014)

Yorkshire Ambulance Service says there was an "unprecedented" demand for help over the Christmas weekend.

The number of serious calls increased by nearly 30% compared to last year.

There was also a 56% increase in calls to NHS 111, with a total of almost 20,000 on 27 and 28 December.

Additional staff were called in to deal with the extra demand.

Dr David Macklin, Executive Director of Operations, said: "Our staff and volunteers across all areas have been brilliant over the extended Christmas period. Snow and icy conditions on top of an increased demand for our most urgent calls has meant that they have had to work above and beyond their normal hours, often without breaks.

"We have had to strictly prioritise our calls to ensure that the people who most needed our help received it. This has meant that some people have not got the response they expected or wanted, but I am sure they will understand that patients with life-threatening illnesses and serious injuries should be cared for first.

"This increase in demand to 999 is unlikely to fall over the New Year period, and whilst we do not want to deter people from calling 999 in serious cases such as heart attack, breathing difficulties or stroke, we do need people to think very carefully about their options and consider whether they really need an ambulance or there is another option available to them."

People with non-emergency medical problems are urged to call NHS 111.