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SECAmb thanks public and staff for support during busy festive period

01 January 2019

New Year MessageSouth East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) would like to thank its staff and volunteers for their professionalism and hard work during what was, as expected, a busy Christmas and New Year.

The Trust would also like to thank the public for the many messages of support and appreciation it has received in recent weeks.

In the three hours after midnight on New Year’s Eve, SECAmb handled an average of 200 calls an hour.

In the 12-hour period between 5pm on 31 December and 5am on 1 January, ambulance crews responded to 1,100 incidents.

And the Trust’s NHS 111 service was also in high demand as staff across the region handled more than 2,500 calls throughout 31 December.

The night’s activity followed a number of days of increased demand during which staff and volunteers worked hard to respond to patients as quickly as possible.

SECAmb Chief Executive Daren Mochrie said: “I’m extremely proud of everyone’s efforts last night and throughout the whole festive period. I would like to thank every member of staff and also our volunteers including our community first responders and chaplains for their commitment and professionalism at this busy time of year. It is always very humbling to see how everyone rises to the challenge when we face prolonged periods of pressure.

“I would also like to thank the families and loved ones of all our staff, as supporting someone working in the ambulance service is not easy, especially at this time of year. Finally, I would like to thank the public for the countless messages of support we have received in recent weeks and throughout the year. I wish everyone a happy and safe 2019.”

SECAmb is expecting demand to remain high in the coming weeks and throughout the winter. People are urged to only dial 999 in the event of a life-threatening or serious emergency and to make use of a variety of alternatives to calling 999, including NHS 111, when it’s less serious.

For further information on how to protect yourself and others this winter please click on the following link:

When to call 999:

If you think a patient is suffering from one of the following you must dial 999 for an ambulance:

• heart attack (e.g. chest pain for more than 15 minutes)
• sudden unexplained shortness of breath
• heavy bleeding
• unconsciousness (even if the patient has regained consciousness)
• traumatic back/spinal/neck pain

You should also call for an ambulance if: 

• you think the patient's illness or injury is life-threatening
• you think the illness or injury may become worse, or even life-threatening on the way to the hospital
• moving the patient/s without skilled people could cause further injury
• the patient needs the skills or equipment of the ambulance service and its personnel

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