New Year’s Eve revellers are being urged to avoid getting drunk ‘for the sake of it’ amid growing pressures on A&E departments across the country.
It comes as Mike Gibbons, commissioner of operations for St John Ambulance, told Sky News that his organisation would be supporting the NHS.
This year will mark the first time New Year’s celebrations are not impacted by Covid restrictions.
But Gibbons did warn partyers to ‘pace’ themselves due to the pressures on the health services, as he said: “Enjoy the evening. But just be a bit sensible… and don’t go too far with the alcohol.”
The appeal comes on New Year’s Eve as health leaders warn of high waiting times at A&Es across the country, with the worst record this winter as hospitals struggle under the demand for flu.
Some NHS Trusts declaring ‘critical incidents’ including South Western Ambulances Service and East of England Ambulances.
President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Dr Adrian Boyle said:
“Over 90% of clinical leads last week reported that they had people waiting in their emergency department for more than 24 hours.
“The gallows joke about this is now that 24 hours in A&E is not a documentary, it’s a way of life.
“These long delays are harmful for people – they are sick and need hospital but are waiting in the corridor of an emergency department. It’s undignified and it’s dangerous.”
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