Ambulance service thanks public and staff for support during busy festive period

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South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) is thanking the public for their support and would like to praise the efforts of its staff during what was, as ever, a busy Christmas and New Year.

The end of the 2013 also proved particularly challenging with the floods experienced by many across the Trust’s region.

Ambulance crews and SECAmb’s Hazardous Area Response Teams were heavily involved in incidents relating to the flooding and

Emergency Operations Centre and NHS 111 staff along with ambulance crews out on the road worked hard around the clock to provide help and treatment to those in need.

On New Year’s Eve itself between the hours of 10pm and 4am on New Year’s Day, SECAmb received 1,160 999 calls across Kent, Sussex and Surrey – an average of more than three calls a minute. This was a slight decrease on last year when the trust experienced one of its busiest nights on record receiving more than 1,500 calls in the same six hours.

On New Year’s Day the NHS 111 service across Kent and Medway, Surrey and Sussex, of which SECAmb is the lead provider in partnership with Harmoni, received approximately 3,500 calls over the 24-hour period. This compares to the previous day’s total of around 1,700 calls.

SECAmb would also like to praise 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: “Christmas and New Year is always a very busy time of year for the ambulance service. With the additional challenge of the floods this year all our staff had to work extremely hard to meet the demand placed upon them. I’m extremely proud of how everyone rose to the challenge. At busy periods such as this they never fail to do so.

“I’d also like to thank the public on behalf of everyone at SECAmb for their kind words of support. All our staff join the ambulance service knowing they will be working at times of the year such as Christmas but that doesn’t make it any easier for them or their families.

“2013 was a very busy year for SECAmb and 2014 will be no different. I’d like to wish everyone across our region a safe and happy new year.”