Busy night for ambulance service

Tuesday, 04 January, 2011

South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Trust (SECAmb) dealt with a high number of calls as people across the region saw in the new year.

SECAmb, which handles 999 calls across Surrey, Sussex and Kent, dealt with more than 1,200 calls during the last few hours of 2010 and the first hours of 2011.

Between 10pm on New Year's Eve and 4am on New Year's Day, SECAmb received 1,259 emergency calls - an increase of more than 200 calls for the same period last year and an average of three calls every minute. Usual call volume equates to an average of one call every minute which shows how busy New Year's Eve was for the Trust.

A large number of the calls received reported people falling over, suffering from breathing difficulties or being injured in fights and assaults.

SECAmb chief executive Paul Sutton, said: "The whole festive period and New Year's Eve in particular is always very busy and challenging. Knowing this, every year we have robust plans in place to ensure that we are able to continue to deliver a safe, timely and quality service to our patients, despite the fact that so many more people than usual are calling us for help.

"The dedication of our staff, however, was once again second to none. I'd like to thank every member of staff, many of whom gave up their own time to work additional hours not only during this busy night but throughout the festive season. Their hard work and commitment, along with the support of many volunteers such as community first responders, ensured we were able to provide an excellent service to the patients of Surrey, Sussex and Kent on one of the busiest nights of the year."

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