London Ambulance Service expecting 45% more calls than normal on New Year’s Eve

A row of ambulances (Stock image)  (PA Archive)
A row of ambulances (Stock image) (PA Archive)

The London Ambulance Service is expecting to receive 2,500 more calls than normal on New Year’s Eve as paramedics warned Londoners to celebrate safely.

Internal forecasting shows that the LAS is likely to receive 8,000 emergency calls on New Year’s Day – more than 45 per cent above its usual total of 5,500.

It comes as the service already faces unprecedented demand and delays, with one in seven ambulances waiting more than an hour to hand patients over to London hospitals in the week up to December 18.

In a statement on Thursday, the LAS said that extra staff and response vehicles were “ready to go” on New Year’s Eve and that additional control room staff would be on duty.

Alex Ewings, Assistant Director of Ambulance Operations, said: “We hope that Londoners who wish to celebrate the New Year have a fantastic night – but please enjoy the festivities safely and avoid ending your night in the back of an ambulance.

“We are already extremely busy this winter. Every avoidable alcohol-related call we attend means another patient who might have a life-threatening condition will wait longer and will potentially come to harm.

“It’s important that Londoners use the 999 service wisely: only calling us when it’s a serious medical emergency so we can prioritise responding to the most seriously ill and injured patients.”

He urged Londoners to “be sensible” with their alcohol consumption.

Mr Ewings added: “If it’s urgent, but it’s not a serious medical emergency, please consider other options such as your GP, pharmacies or NHS 111 online. This should also be your first port of call if you’re unsure what to do or unsure whether to go to A&E.”