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Soaring temperatures result in ambulance trust’s busiest weekend of 2014

PUBLISHED: 10:36 22 July 2014 | UPDATED: 10:36 22 July 2014

An East of England Ambulance Service ambulance in Norwich.

An East of England Ambulance Service ambulance in Norwich.

Archant Norfolk

Ambulance chiefs have urged patients to only call 999 in an emergency after soaring temperatures contributed to the East of England Ambulance Service’s busiest weekend of the year.

The region’s ambulance service, which covers six counties, received 6,424 calls on Saturday and Sunday - 300 more call than their previous busiest weekend in 2014 on July 12 and 13. In total, 2,789 people were taken to hospital over the two days.

Nicholas Jones, manager for one of the trust’s control rooms, said: “This weekend was our busiest yet. We saw a particularly large volume of calls on Saturday, taking more than 700 calls extra compared to the average day. It’s important to remember that 999 is for life-threatening emergencies such as strokes, chest pain, breathing difficulties and serious bleeding. We do tend to experience peaks in calls due to extreme weather. Other options are available, even at the weekends, such as your out-of-hours GP and the pharmacist, and of course you can always ring 111 for health advice at any time of day or night.”

The high number of calls coincided with soaring temperatures across the country and the average number of calls received per day at EEAST is 2,500.

Chief Executive Anthony Marsh added: “I’m incredibly proud of how hard our staff work day in day out, and particularly on busy days such as this weekend. I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone for their efforts over the weekend: from our call handlers, to our dispatchers, to all of the crews working on the road, and of course our volunteers.”

To find out more about the ambulance trust’s summer safety advice, visit www.eastamb.nhs.uk

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