Accident and emergency departments across Morecambe Bay prepare for busy night

Lancaster Royal Infirmary Hospital.'Accident and Emergency.
Lancaster Royal Infirmary Hospital.'Accident and Emergency.

As a another busy night approaches, Emergency Departments and Bay Health and Care Partners are urging the public to enjoy themselves in moderation and know their limits to help relieve pressure on the local health and care services.

The last Friday before Christmas Day has always traditionally been a busy time for Emergency Departments and Ambulance services across the nation.

As businesses and offices close for the Christmas break, many workers use the opportunity to let their hair down.

On average, the Emergency Departments at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay (UHMBT) saw three times more alcohol related attendances on the last Friday before Christmas in 2016, compared to a typical Friday night, while just last Friday December 15, North West Ambulance Service in Lancashire and Cumbria reported a 10% increase in emergency incidents compared to a typical Friday.

With these figures in mind the Trust is keen to see those numbers drop this year - keeping the celebrations safe as well as fun.

Alan Dowswell, Health Early Action Team Practitioner, UHMBT, said: “The Emergency Department certainly takes the strain on the last Friday before Christmas. We get bumps and bruises and in some of the more extreme cases, people are so intoxicated with alcohol that they just collapse in a heap.

“If you want to go out, by all means enjoy yourself, but do things in moderation. You have to know your limits, accept them and recognise that when you have had enough, it is time to go home.”

Colin Read, Lead Consultant in Emergency Medicine, UHMBT, said: “Staff in our Emergency Departments are already working very hard at this time of year looking after ill and injured people. Looking after people who have chosen to drink too much and have ended up needing hospital treatment, means that our staff have less time to spend on those with life threatening injuries who are in more urgent need of our care.”

Rick Shaw, Cumbria Sector Manager at North West Ambulance Service, said: “The Service is incredibly busy and we don’t have spare paramedics and ambulances to deal with the extra calls which occasions such as ‘Black-Eye Friday’ present us with. This means that we really need people to take some responsibility for their

own safety during this busy period.

“In genuine life-threatening emergencies, time matters. If people stop and think about their actions and try not to have one too many during the festive period, they can help us to get to the vulnerable and very

poorly people that really need us – it could be one of their relatives relying on us.”