While many of you will be enjoying the festivities and relaxing with loved ones this coming weekend, for hundreds of North West Ambulance Service staff, it will be business as usual.
Last year on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, we responded to over 6,500 incidents and we expect that number to increase this year.
To help us, and the whole NHS, we urge the public to only call 999 in the case of a real emergency. For less serious medical advice, we advise people to visit www.111.nhs.uk for guidance on how to get help. The NHS website also has advice for hundreds of conditions, visit www.nhs.uk.
Executive Director of Operations, Ged Blezard says: “We’ve had an extremely busy year, and this Christmas we expect it to be our busiest yet.
“Unfortunately, due to the current demand for our service, there have been some patients who have been waiting longer than we would like, but I want to assure the public that we are working very hard and always do our best to reach people as quickly as possible. If your condition is not urgent, it is important to be aware that you are likely to wait some time for a response or be given advice on other healthcare options.
“Ambulances must be kept free for those in a serious or life-threatening condition, and we want you to be aware that receiving an ambulance response is not a quick route to get hospital.
“Finally, please do check on older people, friends, relatives and neighbours to make sure their homes are adequately heated and they have the medications they need. For coughs, colds and sore throats, seek advice from your pharmacist.”
Thank you, and from all staff from the North West Ambulance Service, we wish you a safe, happy and healthy Christmas and New Year.
[Picture by Emergency Medical Technician Tim Miles]