December 11 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Ambulance bosses have urged the public to only dial 999 in an emergency over the extended bank holiday weekend.
The East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) has issued safety advice after last year receiving more than 7,000 calls in three days.
Tim Hayes, a clinical general manager for EEAST, said: “There are lots of measures that members of the public can take to ensure they have a safe and enjoyable bank holiday. If you are drinking, make sure you alternate your alcoholic drinks with soft drinks and don’t over indulge, as no-one wants to end their evening in A&E. If you’re having a barbecue, please ensure you light it safely and ensure that all your food is cooked thoroughly.
“The bank holiday weekend is a great opportunity to get outside and make the most of the last few days of summer, but if you’re out on the roads please remember to stick to the speed limits and keep your distance so as to help avoid any unwanted accidents.
“If you’re visiting an area that has open water, it may be tempting to take a dip in to cool down, but please don’t enter the water in any unsupervised areas – you don’t know what the water contains or how deep it is and you can soon find yourself in difficulties.”
EEAST is also urging people to think twice before dialling 999 for minor ailments.
Mr Hayes said: “Your insect sting or sunburn might be painful, but please think about whether it really requires an ambulance before calling us. Minor cuts, insect bites, sunburn and headaches can easily be treated at home. Make sure your first aid kit is up to date with over-the-counter pain killers, after sun, plasters, and antihistamines. If you are on prescription medication, make sure that you’ve collected your prescription prior to the weekend – as many pharmacists and doctors surgeries will be closed on Monday.”
With it predicted to by another hot weekend, members of the public are advised to keep an eye on elderly and vulnerable neighbours and relatives to ensure that they aren’t suffering from heat exposure.
For non-emergency medical conditions, EEAST is recommending that people visit the NHS Choices website, call 111, or drop in to their local walk in centre for advice and treatment.
Mr Hayes concludes: “Of course if it is a genuine emergency then we do urge people to dial 999 straight away.”