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2 January 2018, 12:36 | Updated: 2 January 2018, 12:39
The ambulance service which covers Kent say it handled more than a thousand 999 calls in the space of six hours on New Year's Eve.
That's an average of three calls a minute between 10pm and 4am.
South East Coast Ambulance Service says call volume was slightly down on last year although ambulance responses to calls during this period remained similar with 651 responses this year compared to 691 responses in 2016/17.
The night’s activity followed a number of days of heavy demand during which all the Trust’s staff worked hard to respond to patients as quickly as possible.
Staff in the Trust’s NHS 111 centres, which the Trust operate across the region in partnership with Care UK, were also extremely busy answering more than 5,300 calls throughout the whole of 31 December.
SECAmb Chief Executive Daren Mochrie said: “Our staff and volunteers work extremely hard and provide excellent care to patients all year round but I would like to thank them for their commitment and professionalism throughout the Christmas and New Year period which is always very busy.
“I’m extremely proud of the service they provide and how everyone rises to the challenge when we are facing prolonged periods of pressure. I’d also like to thank their families and loved ones. This time of year can be hard and we appreciate the support they provide.
“I’d also like to thank the public for their continued support and wish everyone a happy and safe 2018.”
SECAmb continues to be extremely busy and expects pressure on the service to continue in the coming weeks. It is urging people to remember that 999 should only be dialed in the event of a life-threatening or serious emergency.