Pressure on as New Year’s Eve went sour

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Yorkshire Ambulance Service was called to more than 50 assaults over New Year’s Eve as booze-fuelled celebrations turned sour for many across the region.

In total, YAS received 1,570 emergency calls over the 12-hour period from 6pm on New Year’s Eve, with the busiest period in the early hours of the morning.

Between midnight and 3am alone there were 51 emergency calls to assaults, piling on pressure to already-stretched services. Many of the calls concerned people who had drunk excessively or sustained alcohol-fuelled injuries.

To cope with increased demand, the ambulance service placed community medical units in Leeds, Sheffield and Doncaster and had police and paramedic teams operating in busy town and city centres, which helped to free up emergency ambulances for those who were more seriously ill or injured and diverted extra pressure away from hospital emergency departments.

During the overnight period, 253 of the emergency calls were in Leeds, with more than half between midnight and 6am.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service’s locality director of A&E operations, Paul Mudd, at, said: “As always New Year’s Eve was a busy time for us and we received a high volume of alcohol-related calls, particularly in the early hours of the morning.

“Our community medical units and police and paramedic teams provided valuable support and were able to treat people who had too much to drink or those who had sustained minor injuries without them needing to go to hospital.”

New Year’s Day proved to be slightly busier than last year for the most serious type of calls - with many continuing to be alcohol related.

Mr Mudd said: “In the early hours of New Year’s Day we received a significant number of emergency calls to patients who had been assaulted while out celebrating the start of 2015. Clearly this is distressing for those directly involved, but it also places extra pressure on us and partner services.”

He advised members of the public tho think before they call 999 for help.

Mr Mudd added: “New Year’s Eve aside, demand for our service continues to increase. So our New Year’s message for 2015 is to remind members of the public to use the 999 service wisely, choose their healthcare options appropriately and help us to ensure our vital resources are available for those with a genuine life-threatening emergency.”