That’s the message from the region’s ambulance service as they gear up for one of their busiest weekends of the year.
Typically during the four-day bank holiday weekend, Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust experiences a significant increase in 999 calls and they anticipate that this year their staff will be kept just as busy.
To help ensure emergency ambulances are available for those who need them most the service is urging people to keep themselves and others safe and reminding those with minor conditions to consider the variety of other healthcare services available.
David Williams, Deputy Director of Operations, said bank holidays traditionally result in higher volumes of 999 calls which can put their valuable resources under pressure. He said: “Typically more people will be socialising with friends and family during the Easter break and this can lead to more people becoming ill or injured and requiring medical advice and we usually see a rise in alcohol-fuelled incidents too.
“We are not trying to stop people having a good time or deter them from calling 999 in a genuine medical emergency but what we do ask is that people look after themselves and others and think carefully about whether an emergency ambulance is the most appropriate service for their needs.”
The ambulance service is also keen to ensure people are aware of the variety of healthcare services available for advice and treatment for non-emergencies and less serious conditions such as a local pharmacy, NHS 111 or walk-in-centre.
David continued: “Our highly-trained staff often respond to patients who have reported a serious condition only to find they have a minor illness or injury which would have been more effectively dealt with by a more appropriate service for their needs.
“We want to make sure that this weekend is one that people will remember for all the right reasons and, more importantly, that our ambulance crews are there for those who need them most. So please act responsibly and enjoy the Easter celebrations with the spirit intended.”