Health trusts lead Mad Friday pleas in Leeds

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HEALTH SERVICES are bracing themselves for double the trouble as the first of two ‘Mad Friday’ nights is upon us.

Festive celebrations – and binge drinking – usually peak on the last Friday before Christmas when revellers pour into the city centre, but the authorities are expecting tonight could be just as busy because of the way the holidays fall this year.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service has issued a plea for people to drink sensibly and look out for their friends.

Dr David Macklin, executive director of operations, said: “We are a lifeline for patients who find themselves in a genuine life-threatening emergency such as having a heart attack, but our staff are often caught up in looking after people who have drunk excessively or have sustained alcohol-related injuries which could have been avoided.

“We don’t want to spoil people’s fun on a night out, but we are urging them to drink responsibly to avoid the need to call 999 and keep ambulances available for seriously ill patients who really need them.”

An anticipated surge in the number of people going to accident and emergency departments on these two nights also prompted the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust to urge caution.

Dr Sarah Robertshaw, head of clinical service for emergency medicine, said: “We would advise people to pace themselves and to try to drink sensibly. We would also advise people to take care of their friends and family who may have had too much to drink: help them to get home safely and avoid injuring themselves.”

Meanwhile, Leeds City Council is now using extra CCTV surveillance networks to monitor the activity of taxi and private hire vehicles following concerns about the dangers of traffic congestion, unlawful parking and illegal plying for hire.

Ian Beaumont of KPMG

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