Ambulance bosses: Plan ahead and only call if it’s an emergency

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Bosses at East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust are urging people to plan ahead to avoid calling out an ambulance this Easter.

EMAS is encouraging people preparing for the Easter break to also make sure they have enough of any regular medication and to stock up on over-the-counter products such as painkillers and treatments for coughs, colds and stomach upsets.

There are two Bank Holidays over the Easter period on Friday, March 29, and Monday, April 1.

Bank Holidays usually lead to a spike in calls to EMAS, many from people who are not suffering from life-threatening conditions but wrongly believe other NHS services are closed.

Dr James Gray, EMAS’ medical director, said: “We always expect more calls around Bank Holidays as people take advantage of time off work to celebrate with friends and family.

“Common causes of calls are alcohol-related incidents and people with long-term conditions experiencing complications because they’ve run out of their medication.

“Unnecessary 999 calls can delay our response to someone who is in a life-threatening condition.

“That’s why we’d encourage people to think about their health as they plan their holidays. When you’re buying Easter eggs remember medicines too.

“Don’t forget to collect any repeat prescriptions and take time to familiarise yourself with local NHS services.

“For many minor ailments your local pharmacist can advise on treatment and many pharmacies are open throughout the Easter break.

“People can also get help from their local out-of-hours GP service if their surgery is closed or an NHS walk-in centre or minor injuries unit.”

To find out about health services close to you which are open over the Bank Holiday period visit www.nhs.uk.