Health leaders urge local people to celebrate New Year’s Eve sensibly to avoid unnecessary trips to hospital


Health leaders say they need local people to celebrate safely more than ever before this New Year’s Eve so under pressure health services can prioritise those who truly need them.

Emergency and urgent care services continue to experience unprecedented demand, and it is feared a rise in avoidable attendances, potentially linked to excessive alcohol consumption or risky behaviour, could prevent those most in need from being seen in a timely manner.

Anyone heading out or celebrating New Year’s Eve is urged to plan their evening including how they are getting home, looking out for others, and, if drinking alcohol, remembering the impact drinking to excess can have on health and care services.

Gill May, Chief Nurse at Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board said:

“We know that many people will want to celebrate this New Year’s Eve, but we ask that they do this sensibly and understand the impact their actions can have on our already over stretched hospitals and ambulance services.

Our Accident and Emergency departments are already stretched to breaking point and if everyone can do their bit to help, it will help us to make sure our services are available for those who need them most.
NHS staff should be spending their time helping patients in genuine need of urgent medical attention rather than dealing with alcohol-related accidents that could be easily avoided with a bit of planning and foresight.”

How to celebrate safely this New Year’s Eve:

 Intersperse any alcohol intake with regular glasses of water and take responsibility for yourself. Nobody wants to end up in hospital on New Year’s Day because they overdid it.

 Make sure you know in advance how you are getting home. Planning ahead on this busy night of the year can help you avoid getting into difficulties at the end of a fun night.

 Look after each other. If you’ve had less to drink than the people you are celebrating with, make sure they are safe and are able to get home.

 If you do run into problems and need urgent medical help, call NHS 111 to speak to a fully trained adviser. They will assess your situation and offer the
right medical advice, and if you need an ambulance they will send one.