999 calls reach record high levels

AMBULANCE crews in Suffolk and Norfolk have just had their busiest ever weekend with a fresh call every 90 seconds.

AMBULANCE crews in Suffolk and Norfolk today reported their busiest ever weekend.

On Saturday and Sunday the number of 999 calls reached an all-time high

The counties' crews went to 951 emergencies - one every 90 seconds.

Today, the East of England Ambulance Service said 309 of the emergencies were life-threatening.

It said 50per cent of patients were left attended at home, and questioned some of the callers who rang 999.

Lyn Reynolds, chief operating officer for Norfolk, said: “It really questions the level of emergency need in the first place.”

Most Read

Rob Lawrence, chief operating officer for Suffolk said: “The excessive demand placed us under extreme pressure and not all the calls were what we would describe as emergency, our crews and control staff performed well but were left exhausted at the end of their shifts.

“It really is a case of 'looking after us so we can look after you', and the public are asked to consider if their condition is really an emergency or could it be directed either to out of hours GP services, a local pharmacist for advice on self treatment, or to NHS Direct which is available for advice and information 24/7 on 0845 4647.

The demand at the weekend was more than 20per cent higher than previous weekends and was more comparable to a typical new years eve.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter