South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, (SECAmb), thanked its staff and volunteers for their efforts and ongoing commitment following an extremely challenging year.
A spokesman said: “The service also thanks the public for its continued support and is urging everyone to continue to follow all the latest coronavirus restrictions and guidance in their area to limit the spread of the virus.”
SECAmb Chief Executive Officer, Philip Astle, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank everyone who works for SECAmb as well as our many volunteers whose support during the pandemic has been more valuable than ever.
“I would also like to thank our colleagues in the wider NHS and those of our partner organisations for their continued support.
“2020 has been an extremely challenging year and we know that while the vaccine provides us with a chance to imagine an end to the pandemic, it is clear that right now we must all continue to work together to stop the spread of the virus.
“I am incredibly proud and humbled by the work that I see going on across our region every day. I am often overwhelmed by the determination and the resilience shown by everyone to ensure that we are there for our patients but also for each other.
“2020 has highlighted to me to an even greater extent the commitment, skill and dedication of our staff and volunteers whatever their role at SECAmb. I wish everyone a safe and happy new year.”
SECAmb continues to experience significant pressure and is working hard to reach everyone who needs help as quickly as possible, a spokesman said.
He added: “While call volume in the first few hours of 2021 was down on last year, over the course of 24 hours on New Year’s Eve, SECAmb answered more than 2,700 calls – an increase of more than 200 compared to the same period last year.
“SECAmb would like to thank the huge majority of people who followed the advice to see in the new year safely at home.”
People are urged to continue to help by only calling 999 in the event of a serious or life-threatening emergency and by speaking to their GP or using NHS 111 for less serious concerns, the spokesman said. Help is available online at 111.nhs.uk or by calling 111 if you can’t get online.