FESTIVE revellers are being urged by the emergency services to drink responsibly throughout Christmas and New Year.
Alcohol continues to be one of the leading causes of accidents in the UK - a problem which intensifies during the festive season.
In the run-up to the last weekend before Christmas, Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust is reminding people to think about the consequences of drinking to excess and to drink sensibly.
Dr David Macklin, the trust’s associate medical director, said: “The high number of calls we receive in the lead up to Christmas and the New Year, particularly on the last Friday before Christmas Day and on New Year’s Eve itself, puts the service under significant pressure and makes it more difficult for us to ensure we can get to all of our patients quickly.
“Our emergency ambulances are a lifeline in a genuine life-threatening emergency such as a heart attack or stroke, but our staff are too often caught up in looking after people who have drunk excessively or have sustained alcohol-fuelled injuries which could have been avoided.
“We’re certainly not trying to stop people enjoying an alcoholic drink, but do ask that they do so sensibly to avoid the need for an ambulance and leaving them available for those with a genuine need.
“Please leave your car at home, use public transport or arrange alternative transport such as a taxi. If you go to a party and know you’re going to be driving the next day know your limits and drink within the daily guidelines.
“You can opt for lower strength drinks and drink singles rather than doubles when drinking spirits. It’s also a good idea to alternate the alcoholic drinks you do have with soft drinks or water and stop drinking alcohol well before the end of the night so your body has time to process the alcohol before the following morning.
“With this holiday period being a traditionally busy time for us, I would encourage people to ease the pressure on our staff by helping themselves and staying safe to avoid the need to call an ambulance - something no-one wants during this festive time.”