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East of England Ambulance Service gets 19% fewer calls over Christmas

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The ambulance service that covers Hertfordshire had a big drop in 999 calls over Christmas.

There were 9,669 emergency calls in the East of England region on Christmas Eve (2,898), Christmas Day (3,109) and Boxing Day (3,662) – down 19% on the 11,940 in the corresponding 72-hour period last year, which was its busiest ever.

Kevin Brown, chief operating officer for the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST), said: “I would like to thank staff and volunteers who have worked tirelessly over the Christmas period to ensure our patients are safe and get the most appropriate response for their needs.

“The response to our sickest patients well exceeded our plans. This is thanks to patients who used the NHS wisely, as well as the commitment of our staff and community-based volunteer first responders. Our winter plan has been used effectively and helped us provide the best care for patients at a very busy time of year.”

The trust has been working closely with its NHS partners to manage demand and delays to handover of care at hospitals and ensure patients receive safe and effective care.

The public are encouraged to continue to think about how they use NHS services, including the NHS website, pharmacies, NHS 111, walk-in centres and GP surgeries for medical advice.

Mr Brown added: “The period between now and New Year is still a busy time and I would urge people to continue using NHS services wisely. Please only call 999 in an emergency.”

“Remember that while you are enjoying time with family and friends, our staff are working to help people and keep them safe. Please show them respect and #Don’tChoosetoAbuse.”

Last winter, EEAST received more than 4,100 calls on New Year’s Eve and 4,800 on New Year’s Day.

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