Party-goers are being urged to take care to ensure they end up back home rather than the back of an ambulance – ahead of some of the busiest nights of the year for emergency services.
The advice from the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) comes following an increase of demand during December, especially on the last Friday before Christmas, known typically as Black Friday.
This advice includes avoiding ‘over-doing it’ as it can lead to an increased risk of harm and injury, and making sure that people are safe when out and about and have contingency plans if they separate from their group of friends.
Director of nursing and clinical quality Sandy Brown said: “Christmas is a really busy time for your ambulance service. While many people will have the chance to spend time with family, many of our staff will be working hard responding to life threatening 999 calls providing our patients with the care they need. Regrettably, this is also a time of year when we see an increase in alcohol-related incidents and sometimes associated violent or abusive behaviour towards our staff.”
He added: “Remember, alcohol-related 999 calls reduce our ability to respond to patients whom are seriously ill or injured. Would you want a member of your family to have to wait for an ambulance because we are already responding to someone whom has really overdone it? Would you want a loved one whom is working for the ambulance service to be threatened or assaulted while responding to an alcohol related 999 calls?”
The ambulance service will be working with voluntary organisations and the police in town and city centres across the region to provide immediate care to people who are suffering from excess alcohol, or those who have sustained an injury during the night.
Sandy added: “At this time of the year, we ask everyone to enjoy themselves but know their limits. If you are out and about, please make sure that you have a plan to get home safe to your loved ones.