NEW figures show that ambulance crews received more calls overnight on New Year’s Eve and Day last year than in any of the past five years.

The Lancashire Telegraph submitted a Freedom of Information request to the North West Ambulance Service asking for figures of calls to 111 and 999 over the New Year period.

Across the region, there were 1,548 calls made last year from midnight to 5am, which overtook the previous high of 1,542 in 2016.

Also, the total number of calls on January 1, 2019, was the second highest over the past five year period from 2015, with 5,105 received.

Call handlers were most busy in the hour of 2am when they dealt with 384 requests by the public which is the second highest, behind 2016 when there was 398.

Blackburn MP Kate Hollern said she is concerned about the figures.

She said: “The North West Ambulance Service plays a vitally important role.

“Demands upon the NHS continue to rise, inevitably so, given the cuts to many other services such as adult social care and mental health services.

“I would urge the Government to give adequate resource to this service, so that the teams can cope. In turn the Government needs to live up to its promise of both investing in the NHS and in our social care system, which is at breaking point.

“I will be following this issue closely in Parliament.”

Hyndburn MP Sara Britcliffe said: “I’d like to thank our amazing emergency services who continue to work tirelessly to respond to the demand for their services.

“It shows the Conservatives are right to be giving the NHS the biggest cash injection in its history, to support them in rising to this demand.”

A spokesman for North West Ambulance Service said: “New Year is traditionally an extremely busy time for the ambulance service. As people are out and about enjoying the festivities, we sadly often see an increase in alcohol-related incidents, as well as assaults.

“To prepare for the additional calls, we have extra ambulances on the road and more staff than usual working in our emergency operations centres however it’s still really important for people to help us by only calling 999 when they really need to.

“We urge partygoers to see in the New Year safely by drinking sensibly, knowing their limits and planning their journey home.

“As always, 999 is for life-threatening or potentially life-threatening emergencies. NHS 111 Online is available for urgent health advice when it’s not an emergency

It comes after East Lancashire Hospitals Trust posted on social media last week that the A&E at Royal Blackburn Hospital was ‘extremely busy’ and urging people to call 111 and were warning patients would ‘be seen in order of clinical priority’.

A spokesperson for the A&E department at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “If you are unwell at Christmas or New Year, please choose the most appropriate service which is often NOT 999 or a visit to A&E.

“For example, GP practice and pharmacy opening times are published on the internet ( and social media.

“Your local pharmacy can help you deal with minor illnesses and complaints such as coughs, colds, flu, stomach upsets, aches and sprains. To find your nearest NHS service, go to and use the free service finder.

“We want everyone to enjoy the festive period, including NHS staff. Please remember that if you do find yourself needing medical help as a result of too much alcohol, the doctors, nurses and ambulance staff are there to help you.”