AMBULANCE staff have posted a Christmas ‘wish list’ to help everyone enjoy a safe and healthy festive period.
South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) is prepared for a busy few weeks.
At the height of the new year’s eve, SECAmb is expecting to receive in excess of four calls a minute to operation centres.
“We know that this time of year is always a challenge and it’s a challenge we prepare for and rise to every year,” said paramedic and SECAmb’s head of contingency planning and resilience, Andy Cashman.
“Our teams in control, out on the road and in NHS 111 are ready to provide the help people need but the public can help us too.
“We’re already very busy and the next few weeks will only get busier.
“If there is a genuine emergency we don’t want people to hesitate. They should dial 999 immediately but we’d like everyone to take a moment and think about the volume of 999 calls we handle each minute at this time of year.”
“People can also help us by being sensible. We want everyone to enjoy themselves but if people are drinking alcohol we’d urge them to drink responsibly.
“We’d also ask people to wrap up warm, look out for vulnerable friends, family and neighbours and take extra care if they’re out driving or out and about in icy and cold conditions.”
Ambulance crews who attend the scene of a call are also often able to assess and treat patients without the need for hospital treatment.
The ambulance trust said it will be ‘working hard’ with hospital colleagues to minimise the time it takes to handover patients and directing patients to the most appropriate service.
“In fact, approximately only 55 per cent of calls SECAmb receives result in a patient being taken to A&E,” said spokesperson for the trust.
SECAmb is urging people to stock up their medicine cabinets with cold remedies, painkillers, indigestion tablets and plasters and order any repeat prescriptions.
The trust has also asked people to remember 999 is for emergencies – there are other options for health advice included calling 111, making an appointment with your GP or visiting the pharmacist.
Those who can have also been asked to look out for vulnerable friends and neighbours who might need help during the festive period.