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Cambridgeshire ambulance staff and volunteers praised for their work over festive period


By Adrian Curtis


Ambulance staff and volunteers praised for their hard work over a busy festive period
Ambulance staff and volunteers praised for their hard work over a busy festive period

Unprecedented demand is still putting strain on resources

Ambulance staff and volunteers have been praised for their hard work as they continue to cope with an unprecedented demand for services.

The East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) received more than 4,100 calls on New Year’s Eve and 4,800 on New Year’s Day – a 12 per cent increase in demand.

The demand for treatment remains high and people have been urged to call 999 only if is a life threatening emergency.

Karl Edwards, deputy director of service delivery, said: “This is traditionally a very busy time for the ambulance service and the last few days have been exceptionally busy.

“Our staff and volunteers are working extremely hard and doing their best for patients in the community.

“The health system is experiencing this surge with us, and we are working closely with every Trust to do everything possible to achieve good patient outcomes.

“Demand continues to be high and we’d urge people to only call 999 if it is a life-threatening emergency.

“If you need medical help, NHS Choices website, pharmacy, GP, walk-in centre and NHS 111 are available for you.”

Cambridge University Hospitals also issued a public thank you to staff and residents for their ‘magnificent support’ following its pre-Christmas flu outbreak.

The Trust says that staff responded to calls for extra hands over the Christmas and new year period, with many putting festivities on hold to help treat patients and take the pressure off colleagues.

Meanwhile the public has helped by largely listening to appeals around making the appropriate choices if they felt unwell and by taking note of patient visiting rules.

The combination of factors means the hospital – which is currently admitting around 10 new flu patients a day in addition to normal winter pressures – says its contingency arrangements and dedicated flu ward are running to plan.

However, with high numbers set to continue, visitors are reminded to stay away from hospital if they have flu-like symptoms, diarrhoea, or have had these symptoms over the last 48 hours.



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