Help ease pressure on 999 this Easter

Bank holiday one of busiest times of year for the service

NEAS is urging people to think twice before dialling 999 over Easter - traditionally one of the busiest times for the emergency service.

Last Easter NEAS saw a significant rise in calls over the Bank Holiday weekend and are predicting this weekend to be just as busy again.

Calls

To try to reduce the pressure on the service, people are being urged to consider other options before calling 999 for an ambulance for non life threatening conditions.

The high volume of emergency calls received traditionally during bank holidays puts greater demand on resources.

Typically more people will be out and about socialising which can lead to more people becoming ill or injured. And, as many people like to enjoy a drink during the four-day holiday, NEAS usually sees a rise in alcohol related incidents.

Sometimes crews respond to patients who have reported a serious condition only to find they have a minor illness or injury which would have been more appropriately dealt with by NHS Direct, a local pharmacist, a GP or a minor injuries unit.

This could delay NEAS getting to someone with a more serious or life-threatening condition.

A NEAS spokeswoman said: "We don't want to deter people from calling 999 in a genuine emergency and would like to reassure the public we will have additional resources in place to manage the anticipated rise in demand during the busy period.

"All we ask is that people think carefully about whether they really need to call 999 for an emergency ambulance or whether someone else's need could be greater."

For advice and treatment for non-emergencies and less serious conditions, people are urged to visit a pharmacist or GP surgery, walk-in centre or minor injuries unit, or call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.

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