After a very busy Christmas period our ambulance service is preparing for New Year’s Eve with a plea to those celebrating to start 2018 safe and well.
The traditional party night puts more demand on 999 call takers, ambulance dispatchers, clinicians in the control centre and ambulance crews, than any other time of the year.
While most people will drink responsibly, unfortunately there are some who will overdo it.
Ben Holdaway, East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) Deputy Director of Operations said: “Every New Year’s Eve and Day we see a huge increase in 999 calls.
“In the first six hours of 2017 we received 1,150 emergency and urgent calls. That’s a call every 18 seconds and twice as many as on an average night.
“Despite the big increase in calls, only a small number of patients required further treatment in hospital, demonstrating that not all requests for help related to emergency or serious incidents.
“Many New Year’s Eve and Day calls could have been avoided if people had drunk alcohol in moderation and taken care.
“We don’t have an endless supply of ambulances and our message is clear: we need you to help us to get to those in your community that really need an emergency response this New Year.”
Follow these tips for a safe and hangover-free celebration:
• Enjoy yourself but don’t drink too much alcohol.
• Alternate alcoholic drinks with a glass of water or fruit juice – this will help to prevent you becoming dehydrated.
• Never drink on an empty stomach.
• Pace yourself by taking small sips.
• Drinking in rounds can mean you end up drinking more than you intended. Opt out and drink at your own pace.
• To avoid your drink being tampered with, never leave it unattended.
• Know your limits: both men and women should not regularly drink more than two to three units a day (a 250ml glass of wine contains three units).
“Our frontline and control room colleagues and volunteers will be working incredibly hard, sometimes in hostile and challenging environments, to get to people in need. I thank them all for their commitment to providing quality care for the people of the East Midlands,” added Ben.
To support the pressure facing the NHS at this time, in addition to having more ambulance crews in each county, a number of treatment schemes will be operating in towns and cities across the East Midlands:
Derbyshire - There will be a POLAMB (joint police and ambulance vehicle) operating in the city centre, staffed by EMAS clinicians and Derbyshire Police. They will be treating patients with minor injuries to avoid unnecessary ambulance call outs and hospital admissions
Leicestershire - A Mobile Treatment Centre (MTC) will be in Leicester city treating patients with minor injuries to avoid unnecessary ambulance call outs and hospital admissions. The MTC will be staffed with EMAS clinicians. EMAS will also have two POLAMBs in the city centre.
Lincolnshire - A medical triage facility will be operating in Lincoln City and Scunthorpe.
Northamptonshire - A Dynamic Emergency Care Centre (DECC) unit will be in Northampton and Kettering town centres on New Year’s Eve. This will be a working partnership with Northamptonshire Police and Northampton General Hospital.
Nottinghamshire - EMAS and St John Ambulance Service are operating a Mobile Treatment Centre in Mansfield to provide advice and treatment to people who are injured or unwell.