The ambulance service has reflected on its busiest weekend ever.

The average number of calls per week over the past three years is 16,525 but last week (w/c December 10) this was 19,529.

The service took more calls over Saturday and Sunday than the beginning of 2012 on New Year’s Eve and Day, handling 3,110 calls compared to 2,638 – nearly 18% more.

The region took 6,030 calls between Friday and Sunday and compared to the same weekend last year.

Director of Emergency Operations Neil Storey said: “We really hope these figures allow people to take stock of just how many incidents we’re called to, at a time when we’re managing resources as best we can to ensure the most seriously ill are attended first."

• For very minor problems such as a hangover, indigestion, or a grazed knee, people should self-care
• For minor infections, coughs and colds, advice can be given by local pharmacies
• For ailments such as stomach pain and vomiting, a persistent cough or ear pain call your GP surgery, visit your local walk in centre or your minor injuries unit.  Details can be found at   A mobile phone-friendly website is also available at
• Call NHS Direct on 0845 4647

Always call 999 for:
• pain in their chest
• breathing that isn’t normal for them
• reduced level of consciousness or concussion
• severe loss of blood
• severe burns or scalds
• choking
• fitting
• drowning (do you think this needs to be in the list?)
• severe allergic reaction
• suspected stroke – do  the FAST test:  Facial weakness (difficulty smiling or drooping mouth or eye), Arm weakness (difficulty raising arms, Speech problems (difficulty speaking clearly and understanding others)