Be prepared and stay safe over the festive period

Date: 21 December 2018

Ambulances with Snow

‘Be prepared and stay safe,’ is the message from ambulance bosses as the region gears up for another weekend of partying and shopping as we enter the festive period.

With Black Friday on the 21st – so called because of its connection with Christmas parties and late nights - we want people to ensure they’re taking the right steps to be safe, avoid accidents or problems, and enjoy the season safely.

We have published our winter plan, which includes comprehensive staffing, resourcing and management arrangements. We are also putting specific plans in place for the Christmas and New Year period, including increased clinical support in control rooms. But we are urging the public to prevent any need for emergency or urgent care by following simple advice now.

Dr Tom Davis, EEAST’s Medical Director, said: “Our robust plan puts patients at the heart of what we do by working closely with hospitals and other NHS partners to ensure patients get the best quality car.

“This is a time of year when we get together with family and friends to celebrate. We ask that people just take a little time to prepare for a safe celebration, so they can enjoy Christmas. If you get prepared for the fortnight, it can pay dividends and prevent you needing to use NHS services.”

Dr Davis reiterated our advice and guidance for festive celebrations and the winter weather:

  • Have enough medication to use if you or your family suffer the effects of over-indulgence, or have a minor scrape which can be treated at home
  • If you’re out for the evening, ensure you’ve booked a taxi home or there’s a designated driver in your party
  • Always keep well hydrated with water and soft drinks, and keep well fed
  • Cold weather can make some conditions even worse - if someone you know uses medication long-term, make sure they have enough to hand
  • Remember what options to use if you do find you need some help – 111 is over the phone, or speak with your GP or nearest pharmacist. Social media users can follow NHS England’s #HelpUsHelpYou for more information.

Our work will be overseen by a new Regional Tactical Command Cell, which will ensure senior staff are available and on-call 24/7 and can escalate any issues which may arise so that immediate mitigating action can be taken.

We will also monitor hospital turnaround data to give an overview of where capacity is available and act as a single point of contact for all external NHS partners, such as hospitals and commissioners, to improve communication and joint working.

To read the winter planning document in full, you can view the Board papers here

  • Summary:

    ‘Be prepared and stay safe,’ is the message from ambulance bosses as the region gears up for another weekend of partying and shopping as we enter the festive period.