Ambulance calls up 14 per cent in a year

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The East of England Ambulance Service had its busiest-ever January last month, when it fielded 80,000 calls.

This included 14,443 calls in Hertfordshire, an increase of 14 per cent compared to the same period in 2015. Only Cambs and Norfolk saw a greater rise.

Gary Morgan, head of emergency operation centres, urged people to only dial 999 in an emergency.

He said: “The majority of patients do not always require an immediate response, or in some cases, any form of physical response.

“However, for those whose illness or injury does need an immediate and rapid response, we want to get to them as quickly as we can and provide them with the best possible care.

“If you or the person you are with are not in life-threatening danger, help us to respond to those patients who are by using the right service for your needs such as seeing your GP or an out of hours GP, visiting a walk-in centre or minor injuries unit, visiting your pharmacy or calling 111.

“Choosing wiser will help free up some of our capacity to respond to really sick or injured patients more quickly.”