Ambulance service received almost 1,000 calls over the New Year period

South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) answered almost 1,000 999 calls over the New Year period.

The ambulance service, which covers Sussex, faced 985 calls between 8pm on New Year’s Eve and 3am on New Year’s Day.

This is a slight increase from the 2019 number and a jump of more than 20 per cent from the same period last year, according to a SECAmb spokesperson.

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The spokesperson said, “South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust would like to thank its staff and volunteers for their hard work and commitment throughout the festive and New Year period and is asking the public for their continued support in 2022.

Ambulance

“The last 12 months has seen SECAmb experience huge challenges including managing record 999 call demand.

“The service is asking the public for its continued support as it expects a challenging and busy start to the new year.”

Sussex residents are being urged to make use of alternatives to calling 999 if they are not facing a serious or life-threatening emergency.

People can call 111 or visit 111.nhs.uk for urgent health advice or if they are unsure of where they should seek help.

Residents are also being encouraged to take regular lateral flow tests, to isolate immediately if positive and to arrange a PCR test.

SECAmb CEO Philip Astle said, “The past 12 months have been extremely challenging for everyone at SECAmb and I would like to thank each and every member of staff for their dedication in serving the public.

“I would also like to pay tribute to our volunteers, whose support throughout the last year has been immense.

“My thanks also go to our colleagues across the NHS and to those in our partner organisations for their continued teamwork and assistance.

“I ask the public for their continued support and urge them to make the right choices over the winter weeks during which we expect to remain busy.

“I know our teams will, as ever, rise to the challenge, but people can play their part by making use of the alternatives to 999, including NHS 111 for urgent health advice or speaking to a GP or pharmacist.

“By making the right choices, people can reduce pressure on 999 and the wider NHS.

“I wish everyone a happy and safe New Year and hope for a brighter 2022.”