Ambulance Service handled 1,000 calls over New Year


The South East Coast Ambulance Service would like to thank its staff and volunteers for their efforts during what was, as ever, an extremely busy Christmas and New Year.

The NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) would also like to thank the public for the messages of support it has received in recent weeks.

In the six hours between 10pm on New Year’s Eve and 4am on 1st January SECAmb handled approximately 1,000 999 calls – close to an average of three calls a minute.  Call volume was slightly down on last year although ambulance responses to calls during this period remained similar with 651 responses this year compared to 691 responses in 2016/17.

The night’s activity followed a number of days of heavy demand during which all the Trust’s staff worked hard to respond to patients as quickly as possible.

Staff in the Trust’s NHS 111 centres, which the Trust operate across the region in partnership with Care UK, were also extremely busy answering more than 5,300 calls throughout the whole of 31st December.

SECAmb would also like to praise the efforts and commitment of its volunteers including its Community First Responders and chaplain team.

SECAmb Chief Executive Daren Mochrie said:

Our staff and volunteers work extremely hard and provide excellent care to patients all year round but I would like to thank them for their commitment and professionalism throughout the Christmas and New Year period which is always very busy.

I’m extremely proud of the service they provide and how everyone rises to the challenge when we are facing prolonged periods of pressure. I’d also like to thank their families and loved ones. This time of year can be hard and we appreciate the support they provide.

I’d also like to thank the public for their continued support and wish everyone a happy and safe 2018.

SECAmb continues to be extremely busy and expects pressure on the service to continue in the coming weeks.  It is urging people to remember that 999 should only be dialed in the event of a life-threatening or serious emergency.

When to call 999:

If you think a patient is suffering from one of the following you must dial 999 for an ambulance:

  • heart attack (e.g. chest pain for more than 15 minutes)
  • sudden unexplained shortness of breath
  • heavy bleeding
  • unconsciousness (even if the patient has regained consciousness)
  • traumatic back/spinal/neck pain

You should also call for an ambulance if:

  • you think the patient’s illness or injury is life-threatening
  • you think the illness or injury may become worse, or even life-threatening on the way to the hospital
  • moving the patient/s without skilled people could cause further injury
  • the patient needs the skills or equipment of the ambulance service and its personnel

For further information on how to protect yourself and others this winter please visit our website here:

Or click on the following link:



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