North West Ambulance Service crews dealt with a 10 per cent increase in high priority calls on Christmas and Boxing Day alone.

During what is one the busiest times of the year for the Service, NWAS emergency crews responded to almost 6,000 calls over the two day period.   The highest incident types:

•Breathing Problems (788 incidents) •Falls (624 incidents) •Chest Pain (483 incidents)   NWAS Director of Operations, Derek Cartwright said: “We always see an increase in emergency calls at this time of year but this year has been exceptional. I would like to take this opportunity to thank NWAS staff for all their hard work in caring for the population of the North West.

“The Christmas period can be a confusing time for people who need to access the NHS. Many people call 999 when their symptoms could be treated elsewhere.

“As we approach New Year, it is important that people remember 999 is for serious and life-threatening emergencies. Please help us to help the most vulnerable people, by keeping ambulances free to deal with genuine emergencies.”

For health advice, you can contact NHS Direct on 0845 47 47, pharmacies and Walk-in-Centres

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