New Year

It’s been another busy New Year for West Midlands Ambulance Service.

The number of ‘999’ calls steadily increased toward midnight, but, as with previous years, it was the start of the New Year that the numbers began to increase more rapidly with the peak rate of calls coming in between 2am and 4am; a large proportion of them being for alcohol-related incidents including fights, assaults, people collapsing, falling over and injuring themselves.

In the last four hours of 2010, the Service received 287 calls in Birmingham and the Black Country.

In the first five hours of 2011, the service received 641 calls in Birmingham and the Black Country.

The New Year is traditionally the busiest night of the year for the Ambulance Service. It is a year in the planning for which as many staff as possible work through the night and for which this year, more vehicles and staff were on the road than ever before during certain targeted hours when demand was expected to be at its highest.

To help free-up availability of ambulances and to help ease pressures on A&E departments, Temporary Minor Injury Units (TMIU) operated in Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Shrewsbury and Walsall. The TMIUs provided immediate treatment for patients who had suffered alcohol intoxication and other minor illnesses and injuries who are not likely to be admitted after assessment in Accident and Emergency departments.

TMIU – Broad Street, Birmingham

Based at House of Sport in the city centre, the unit was staffed by a Senior Paramedic Officer from West Midlands Ambulance Service, a doctor, two nurses, volunteers from St. John Ambulance and the Red Cross and Community First Responders. The unit was an initial base for five ambulances and six response Paramedics. Officer in Charge, Tracey Morrell, said: “It’s been a busy night in which we treated 35 patients, mainly the result of intoxication or assault. Our patients mainly had cuts, bumps, bruises and head injuries. We were able to treat and discharge the patients quickly and prevent numerous hospital admissions.