East of England Ambulance Service advise how to avoid 999

The East of England Ambulance Service has released a press statement Hertfordshire residents advising them how to avoid an emergency call over the bank holiday weekend.

More than 8,000 emergency calls were made to the region’s ambulance service over the May Day bank holiday last year according to East of England Ambulance Service.

In Hertfordshire, there were 1,447 emergency calls over the bank holiday weekend from May 2 to May 4.

The East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) has issued the following advice to the public to avoid a 999 call during the long weekend, from Saturday, April 30 to Monday, May 2, following a 17 per cent increase in demand during the Easter bank holiday. It could be argued that most of these things are common sense, but with increasing demand on the ambulance service and calls which could have been dealt with my self-medicating or visiting a pharmacist or GP it really is good to see that East of England are continuing to respond proactively to help ensure that 999 emergency ambulance aren’t tied up dealing with minor illnesses and kept for life threatening emergencies. 

  • If you have a long-term condition, make sure you have enough of your prescription medication in advance.

  • Make sure your medicine cabinet is fully stocked with over-the-counter painkillers, after sun, plasters and antihistamines.

  • If you are feeling unwell now, seek medical advice rather than letting your condition deteriorate.

  • Pack something warm and be prepared for changes in the weather. Wear sunscreen if you are going outdoors.

  • If you are having a barbecue, ensure that you light it safely and that all your food is cooked thoroughly.

  • If you are going out drinking, know your limits and alternate alcoholic drinks with soft drinks or water.

  • Be safe on the roads. Keep your distance from the car in front to help avoid accidents.

  • If you need urgent medical advice over Easter, NHS 111 is available 24/7. The emergency number 999 is for life-threatening conditions only.

Marcus Bailey, consultant paramedic for EEAST, said: “Everyone can do their bit to keep their family safe by being prepared.

“If you are unwell, get checked out in advance and if you need medication, make sure that you’ve collected your prescription prior to the weekend.

“We want to provide the best care possible and to be there as quickly as possible for those in a life-threatening emergency such as a stroke, heart attack, or for those with breathing difficulties.

“Using alternative NHS services for non life-threatening conditions such as calling 111, logging on to NHS Choices for information, or using walk-in centres will go really far in helping us.”

More than 1,000 calls across the region last May bank holiday were because of falls.

Source: Welwyn and Hatfield Times / East of England Ambulance Service

Dave Hawkins