Leeds & West Yorkshire

Yorkshire Ambulance Service in Easter 999 plea

Image caption Ambulance service chiefs say they expect an increase in calls over the Easter holiday

Ambulance service bosses in Yorkshire have urged people not to overstretch the service with unnecessary 999 calls during the Easter break.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) said it experienced "a significant increase" in 999 calls last Easter and expected this year to be just as busy.

Extra resources had been put in place to help it cope with a surge in demand.

But the service urged people with minor ailments to seek help from NHS Direct, a pharmacist or their GP.

Those with injuries not thought to be serious or life-threatening should attend a local minor injuries unit.

'Think carefully'

Paul Mudd, assistant director of A&E operations in Hull and the East Riding, said: "The high volume of calls we traditionally receive during the bank holiday periods puts the service under increased strain and makes it harder for us to ensure we can get to all patients quickly.

"Typically more people will be out and about socialising which can lead to more people becoming ill or injured, and as many people like to enjoy an alcoholic drink during the four-day holiday, we usually see a rise in alcohol-fuelled incidents too.

"Our staff often respond to patients who have reported a serious condition only to find they have a minor illness or injury.

"All we ask is that people think carefully about whether they really need to call 999 for an emergency ambulance or whether someone else's need could be greater."

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