Please don’t go mad today, say NHS bosses

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People out drinking on the day dubbed “mad Friday” are being urged to behave responsibly to cut alcohol-related hospital admissions.

The last Friday before Christmas is traditionally a busy time for the ambulance service because of a rise in injuries and illness linked to drinking.

Ambulance bosses have appealed for people to stay safe and only call 999 in a genuine emergency after last weekend was the busiest ever for the 999 service.

Accident and emergency departments have also seen a 15 per cent increase in patients arriving for treatment.

Dr Julian Mark, executive medical director for Yorkshire Ambulance Service, said: “The high number of calls we receive in the run up to Christmas and the New Year, particularly on the last Friday before Christmas Day and on New Year’s Eve itself, puts the service under significant pressure and makes it more difficult for us to ensure we can respond to all of our patients quickly.”

People with non-urgent problems can call the NHS helpline 111, go to an NHS walk-in centre or see their GP or pharmacist.

Dr Mark added: “Our emergency ambulances are a lifeline to patients who find themselves in a genuine life-threatening emergency such as a heart attack or stroke, but our staff are often involved in looking after people who have drunk excessively or have sustained alcohol-fuelled injuries which could have been avoided.”