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Appeal to Stay Safe on Mad Friday

15 December 2017

Around 2,800* of the 999 calls received by Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust (YAS) last December were alcohol-related, according to figures just released.

The highest number of calls believed to involve alcohol during that month were received on Christmas Eve (155*). December 2016 also saw a 16% increase in the number of calls where the chief complaint was assault or unconscious/passing out – 4,405 calls compared to 3,810 calls in November 2017, although these were not all necessarily alcohol-related.

The news comes as ambulance bosses issue an appeal to revellers to think about the impact of alcohol-related calls on other ill and injured patients across the county.

Stephen Segasby, Deputy Director of Operations at YAS, said: “While our ambulance crews are responding to patients who have simply had too much to drink or have sustained alcohol-related injuries which could have been avoided, they are not available to respond to life-threatening emergencies.

“We are not saying people shouldn’t enjoy a few alcoholic drinks while celebrating, but we would ask that they do it sensibly to ensure our ambulance crews are free to help someone who genuinely needs us.”

Traditionally, YAS sees a significant increase in the number of 999 calls on the last Friday before Christmas, which has become known as ‘Mad Friday’. But with Christmas Day falling on a Monday this year there is the added potential for two Fridays (15th and 22nd) to become ‘Mad Friday’.

By drinking responsibly, and looking after yourself and others, you can avoid putting unnecessary pressure on the ambulance service at its busiest time of the year:

  • Make sure you know how you are getting home at the end of the night; book a taxi or check the time of the last bus or train
  • Eat before you go out
  • Stick to safer drinking levels; consider lower strength drinks and stick to singles rather than doubles.
  • Alternate alcoholic drinks with soft drinks or water.

*This information has been taken from Patient Care Records but has not been verified.


Notes to Editor:
1. People should not regularly exceed their recommended daily amounts of alcohol, which is three to four units for a man and two to three units for a woman. To put that into real terms a pint of 4% lager contains 2.3 units as does a 175ml glass of 13% wine.

2. Examples of when you should call 999 for an ambulance: chest pain, difficulty in   breathing, loss of consciousness, heavy loss of blood, severe burns and scalds, choking, fitting/convulsions, drowning, severe allergic reaction and head injury.  Please note: This is not an exhaustive list.

3. Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust covers almost 6,000 square miles of varied terrain from isolated moors and dales to urban areas, coastline and inner cities and provides 24-hour emergency and healthcare services to a population of more than five million people. The organisation receives an average of 2,330 emergency and routine calls per day and employs over 5,000 staff.

4. The Patient Transport Service made over one million journeys in 2016-17 transporting patients to and from hospital and treatment centre appointments. The Trust’s NHS 111 service helped 1.5 million patients across Yorkshire and the Humber, Bassetlaw, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire during 2016-17.

Issued by the Yorkshire Ambulance Service Press Office

Produced By: Corporate Communications Department