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Ambulance service busy as London gears up for Christmas

The London Ambulance Service is preparing for a busy few days and has already taken 300 extra emergency calls today (19 December)  as the party season gets into full swing.

By 1pm the Service received 2,294 calls compared to 1,995 last Thursday (12 December).

Director of Service Delivery, Paul Woodrow said: “This is always a busy time for us, with the Christmas party season well under way, we are urging people to drink sensibly tonight and over the weekend.”

Medics will be treating festive drinkers who have over done it at an alcohol recovery centre in the City tonight while a specially adapted ambulance – better known as the ‘booze bus’ – will be sent to patients with alcohol-related injuries.

Paul added: “We want people to have a good time over Christmas but also to make sure they look after themselves.

“Many of the intoxicated patients we are called to are on their own and vulnerable. We would like to urge all Londoners heading out tonight or over the weekend to stay with their friends and plan their journey home.

“There are some common sense steps you can take to have a safe night out, like eating a proper meal before going out and pacing your drinking.”

Tips for keeping well this Christmas:

  • Choose the right place to treat your health problems such as a walk-in-centre or calling 111 for minor illnesses and injuries.
  • Consider making your own way to hospital if it’s not an emergency – going in an ambulance does not mean you will be seen any sooner.
  • Eat before drinking: food soaks up alcohol, slowing it down on its way into the bloodstream.
  • Have a strategic soft drink: this keeps the body hydrated, and will lessen the effects the next day.
  • If you’re going out, wrap up warm.
  • Look after yourself as well as vulnerable relatives, friends and neighbours, particularly the elderly and children.


Notes to editors: