‘Help us to keep 999 calls down over World Cup’

Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Picture: Press Association
Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Picture: Press Association

The region’s ambulance service is urging people to be sensible ahead of what they expect to be a busy summer for injuries.

As the World Cup kicks off on Thursday, paramedics are preparing for a surge in demand and warning people that the associated drinking and pub culture could lead to a summer that’s memorable for all the wrong reasons.

With the upcoming sporting events, East of England Ambulance Service Trust locality director Matt Broad said people need to ensure they’re being safe and help keep emergency calls down.

He added: “Please use common sense if spending a day out in the sun, think about drinking sensibly by having plenty of water and soft drinks, and watch out for hazards or unsafe areas around crowds and on roads that might be busier than usual.”

Adrian Maasz, the Trust’s regional lead for primary care and 111, said: “Simply put, 111 is for when it is less urgent than 999 – for those who think they have a medical condition which needs treating, but who don’t need emergency care or even a trip to hospital.

“It is there to help people who are worried about their condition but to also support the 999 service so that our frontline staff can respond to the very seriously ill who need more care.”

The NHS Blood and Transplant service also urged potential blood donors to come forward in an attempt to boost blood stocks ahead of the sporting event, which runs until July 13.