Ambulance trust thanks staff and public following busy festive period

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South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) has thanked the public for their support and praised its staff following an ‘extremely busy’ Christmas and New Year.

Between 10pm on New Year’s Eve and 4am on January 1, the Trust handled 1,135 calls – an average of more than three 999 calls a minute and just short of last year’s total of 1,146.

Between December 14-31, 999 call handlers received close to 50,000 calls across the Trust’s Kent, Surrey and Sussex region.

The Trust’s NHS 111 centre staff also had an extremely busy end to the year with call volume especially high with Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve, both closely followed by weekends.

Ambulance crews out on the road worked flat out to reach and treat those in most need as quickly as possible, while the Trust’s Patient Transport Service teams were also at full stretch to get patients to appointments and back home following discharge from hospital.

SECAmb also praised the efforts and commitment of its volunteers including its Community First Responders, chaplains, St John Ambulance and the British Red Cross.

SECAmb Chief Executive Paul Sutton said: “I’m always very proud of the dedication shown by all our staff and particularly at this time of year.

“We know it can be hard on their families and that it is a challenge to meet the additional demand the festive season inevitably brings – but our staff always rise to the challenge.

“As expected, New Year’s Eve was very busy but everyone worked extremely hard to respond to those in the most need quickly and safely.

“I’d like to thank the public for their support and thank all our staff for their continued commitment, not just over Christmas and New Year but all year round.

“I’d also like to wish everyone a happy and safe 2016.”

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