Extra A&E staff drafted in to east Kent hospitals for new year

Drunk woman and nurse
Image caption Many of the A&E attendances were alcohol-related

Extra staff were deployed to A&E departments in Kent to deal with patients over the new year.

Peter Orsman, A&E matron at the East Kent NHS Trust, said "quite a few" patients had attended emergency units over the course of the night.

He said 47 patients had attended the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford between midnight and 07:00 GMT, 26 of them with alcohol-related issues.

South East Coast Ambulance Service said it had nearly 200 calls overnight.

Mr Orsman said at the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital (QEQM) Hospital in Margate, 34 patients were booked in between midnight and 07:00, 23 with alcohol-related issues.

"That is about normal for New Year's Eve and the staff did say it was probably one of the better ones this year," he said.

"Last night we had extra staff in all our A&E departments and it worked well."

South East Coast Ambulance Service, which covers Kent, Surrey and Sussex, said it had received 1,160 emergency calls between 22:00 and 04:00 GMT.

A spokesman said that more than half the calls were alcohol-related.

More than 800 staff were out responding to incidents across the three counties, he added.

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