Emergency calls increase by 30 per cent over festive weekend

Only ring 999 in an emergency.
Only ring 999 in an emergency.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service is thanking its staff after a weekend of unprecedented demand saw calls for the most seriously ill or injured rise 30 per cent over the Christmas weekend.

As well as this significant increase in ‘Red’ calls, the Trust also received a huge 56 per cent increase in calls to NHS 111 with a total of almost 20,000 calls coming in over December 27 and 28.

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.

“Our level of calls to NHS 111 also increased dramatically and we would encourage people to also use this service responsibly for urgent (not emergency) medical problems, where you can’t wait for your GP or don’t know what to do.”