Have your medication ready for the Platinum Jubilee weekend

North East Ambulance Service is urging people across the region to plan ahead of the Jubilee bank holiday and to use services wisely over the extended weekend.

As the service prepares for the busy four-day bank holiday, the public are reminded to check that they have enough medication and order more if needed as soon as possible.

Over the first May bank holiday weekend, North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) received an additional 206 calls for medication, amounting to a 120% increase in calls of this nature compared to a normal week. At a time when the service is already busy, such calls place additional demands on 111, resulting in call delays for patients requiring urgent, but not life-threatening medical advice.

Chris Dawson, deputy chief operation officer for the Trust’s three Emergency Operations Centres, said: “We encourage everyone to think ahead so that our 111 service can answer calls quickly and efficiently, ensuring you have enough medication to see you through over the Bank Holiday Weekend, and trying alternative means of seeking help.”

"As always, it’s crucially important that we’re able to keep 999 free for life-threatening emergencies only. For anything urgent, but not life-threatening, our 111 health advisors will be ready to take your call. However, 111 online is often able to answer your question, and many pharmacies will be open throughout the Bank Holiday.”

Deputy chief operating officer for operations, Victoria Court, added: “NEAS colleagues will be working hard to look after patients over the Jubilee weekend, but we ask in return that members of the public treat them with the respect they deserve.

“Assaults on our staff have been known to increase over Bank Holiday weekends, often as a result of increased drinking. Events such as a Platinum Jubilee are incredibly rare, and we want everyone – including our staff – to be able to enjoy the weekend. If you’re out over the weekend, please look after yourselves and those around you, and remember our staff are here to help you, not to be abused.

“The Alcohol Reception Centre will also be in operation on St Nicholas’ Street in Newcastle city centre from 9.30pm until 4.30am on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, for those who require medical assistance or a place of safety.” 

To support the service over the Jubilee weekend, members of the public are asked to: 

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Copyright 2011 North East Ambulance Service Trust

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