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Overdoing the Christmas drinks blamed for 40pc increase in Norfolk ambulance calls

PUBLISHED: 14:42 24 December 2012 | UPDATED: 14:55 24 December 2012

The night dubbed Black Friday by emergency staff saw calls to the region’s ambulance service soar by more than 40pc in Norfolk.

And ambulance service bosses have blamed accidents caused by people indulging in a bit too much pre-Christmas drinking for contributing to the surge.

Following the dramatic rise the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST), today urged the public to make sure they had everything in place to ensure a happy, healthy festive holiday.

Last weekend (December 21 to 23 inclusive) calls went up by more than 18pc in the Eastern region compared to the weekend four weeks previously.

The significant proportion of these were on the Friday night (December 21) which saw a rise of a third. There was an increase in every county, with a 42.2pc increase in calls in Norfolk (188 compared to 132) and a 69.32pc increase in Suffolk (149 compared to 88).

The ambulance service put in extra resources on the night, which is known as Black Friday because the peak of the party season on the last weekend before Christmas combines with winter illnesses and dipping temperatures to see calls soar.

Neil Storey, director of operations at the ambulance service said: “We want to thank our staff and volunteers for the sterling work they did over the whole weekend which saw a big increase in demand, mainly down to Friday night.

“It is impossible to break this down into exact causes but anecdotal evidence is that many calls on Friday were related to excess drinking. Again our advice is not to take indulgence too far. Christmas in A&E is no fun.”

Mr Storey urged ‘last minuters’ to stock up on necessary medicines and basics such as painkillers, indigestion tablets and cold remedies before the shops close today.

He said: “Everyone should keep themselves warm and protected and resist the temptation to go beyond indulging to ensure they have a great Christmas.

Our Get Wise in Winter campaign page on our website has more detailed advice.

“Only call 999 in an emergency like suspected cardiac or stroke. Minor calls will be redirected to a more appropriate health care provider like out of hours doctor or 111.”


  • Amazing how the East of England Ambulance Service attend 999 calls due to self induced alcohol abuse yet will not attend someone through no fault of their own having an epileptic seizure. Sort your priorities out EEAS!

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    Mad Max

    Monday, December 24, 2012

  • nhs lover - Its not about the size of the Ambulance service it`s about cheap alcohol and Labour`s, "open all hours," drinking policy that has lead to the current sorry state of affairs. Those that imbibe too much should have to pay for their use of the Nhs. Its not fair on the staff too, to have to keep mopping up the social ills of this country every weekend. A totally thankless task.

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    Monday, December 24, 2012

  • Anybody under the influence of drink who needs an ambulance should be charged for it. If a motorist is in an accident and requires emergency help, there is a system in place to charge them for it.

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    Tuesday, December 25, 2012

  • it's time the government stopped cutting ambulances. how are they going to deal with all of this demand?

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    nhs lover

    Monday, December 24, 2012

  • Look at all the excess money the liquor companies must be making. They should pay for an ambulance servivce for the drunks out of their own pockets because its their fault people are drunk in the first place.

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    Monday, December 31, 2012

  • You know what we need. An good old fashioned open container law like those Americans. Fine people a say 200 pounds if they are consuming alcohol in public (not on private property such as a bar) or when they have an open container of alcohol in their cars. If we want an American Vegas style casino we might as well adopt their laws. Can anyone say 21 drinking age. God bless america. Greatest country on earth.

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    Monday, December 31, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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