A huge amount of preparatory work took place at East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) to ensure frontline staff, support services and managers were geared up for the busiest day of the year.
And judging by statistics released today by ambulance bosses, all their hard work paid off.
• A total of 1,027 calls were received during the first six hours of 2018. Amazingly, call handlers answered each one within two seconds.
• Over 120 people worked in EMAS's two Emergency Operations Centres to receive and respond to the 999 calls received.
• More than 145 ambulances and 50 fast response cars were manned by EMAS clinicians on duty to respond to emergency calls. Many calls related to illness or injury suffered as a result of too much alcohol.
• Over 25 managers worked on New Year's Eve / New Year's Day, many of them working out on the frontline and hospital A&E departments.
• Several Community First Responder volunteers logged on to help.
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Richard Henderson, EMAS's chief executive, said: “ It has been a challenging time but we’ve delivered the best possible service with the resources available to us. I send my personal thanks to colleagues, volunteers and partner agencies for their continued commitment and dedication to help us to provide quality patient care."
However, Dr John Stephenson, EMAS associate medical director who was in charge of the New Year's Eve operation, said it was unfortunate that so many people ignored pleas to not drink excessively.
“Despite our appeals too often our emergency ambulance clinicians spent their time caring for people who were unwell after excessively drinking alcohol, either at home or out on the town.
“We do not have an endless supply of ambulances and people reported to be in a life-threatening condition such as cardiac arrest, who are not breathing or are unconscious, remain our priority.”
An EMAS spokeswoman said the next few days will continue to be very busy for them and the rest of the NHS.
People who start to feel unwell are urged to seek early advice from a pharmacist, walk-in or urgent care centre – where no appointment is needed, or by visiting their general practitioner. They are requested not to leave it until they become seriously unwell.
Simple self-care steps can be taken by people suffering from the effects of too much alcohol:
- Ultimately you need to re-hydrate your body - replace lost fluids by drinking bland liquids that are easy on the digestive system, such as water, soda water and isotonic drinks.
-Painkillers can help with headaches and muscle cramps
Visit the NHS Choices website for more hangover advice.