South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb), is encouraging people to celebrate and enjoy the The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend safely.

SECAmb is expecting to answer in the region of 10,000 calls across the four days and is also reminding people to use its services wisely.

By only dialling 999 in the event of a genuine emergency and by making use of alternative non-emergency help, including from NHS 111 online at or by calling 111, people can help the service manage its demand.

People are also reminded to ensure any repeat prescriptions that may be needed are ordered ahead of the weekend, that they have useful household medicines in stock and are aware of local pharmacy opening times.

Trust staff and volunteers will be working hard across the weekend to respond to everyone who needs help, while prioritising the most seriously ill and injured patients.

Anyone who has organised a street party is asked to ensure emergency access is maintained.

SECAmb Executive Director of Operations, Emma Williams, said: “While this isn’t a typical bank holiday weekend, starting on a Thursday, we are already busy and we know that bank holidays can bring additional pressure for ambulance services.

“People can really help us by being sensible while enjoying the four-day weekend and remembering the alternatives to 999, including NHS 111, if they’re not facing an emergency.

“We ask that if people are going out and drinking alcohol, that they plan ahead to ensure they arrive home safely, without having to call on our assistance.

“Our staff and volunteers will, as ever, be working hard to reach everyone who needs our help as quickly as possible. I would like to thank each and everyone of them for serving our communities across this once-in-a-lifetime celebration.”

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
  • traumatic back/spinal/neck pain

You should also call for an ambulance if:

  • you think the patient’s illness or injury is
  • 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
  • the patient needs the skills or equipment of the ambulance
    service and its personnel