THE REGION’S ambulance service is asking the public for its support during the busy Easter weekend.
South East Coast Ambulance Service has plans in place to manage an expected increase in demand but is reminding the public that 999 should only be dialled in an emergency.
Last year between Good Friday and Easter Monday SECAmb received more than 9,500 999 calls across Kent, Surrey and Sussex – an increase of around five percent on the previous weekend (22-25 March 2013).
While ambulance crews will always be sent to the most serious emergencies, close to 1,000 of these calls were able to be dealt with by clinical advice being provided to callers over the phone.
NHS 111 centre staff are also preparing for the busy Easter period. The service, run by SECAmb in partnership with Harmoni across the region, was launched just over 12 months ago has provided help and advice to close to a million callers since March 2013. SECAmb spokesman Steve Carpenter said: “We’re expecting the Easter Bank Holiday weekend to be busy for all our staff. This is often the case with any Bank Holiday weekend but with Easter stretching over four days we know that all our staff will face an increase in demand. Obviously a lot of people will be out and about enjoying the weekend and even more so should the fine weather continue. We’d ask that they be sensible and take care.”