British paramedics struggled to cope with demand last night amid New Year’s Celebrations.
Demand in some towns and cities were high despite requests for the public to consider carefully if they needed emergency care.
Waiting times as a result increased significantly. During the night managers focused on the most life-threatening incidents to try and better juggle resources.
Richard Webber, South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (Secamb), Gold Commander, said, “We are already receiving a high volume of emergency 999 calls, especially across Kent and are struggling to reach many of these in a timely manner.
“Our staff are already working extremely hard but this does mean that for certain emergencies, some patients can expect to wait longer for an ambulance as we focus our efforts on responding to calls which are deemed life-threatening.”
Over Christmas and New Year, Secamb saw a 10% increase in workload. From 7pm Christmas day to 11pm Boxing Day the service responded to 4,840 emergencies.
In previous years during New Year celebrations, Secamb responded to an average of 3 calls per minute. Figures for this year are yet to be released but are expected to be higher.
Currently, Secamb is changing the way it handles 999 calls to better manage the service. It has been on special measures since September and in part this of ongoing changes. Like most NHS resources, government cuts have resulted in services becoming stretched.
During New Year, Britain increased security throughout the country to counter any terrorist attacks. Special emphasis was put on countering vehicles as trucks were used to kill dozens of people in Nice and Berlin.
No incidents have been reported in the U.K so far.
Sadly, an incident occurred in Turkey where a man dressed as Santa Claus opened fire in a nightclub killing over thirty people.
Despite stretched ambulance resources, the celebrations so far seem to be a success.