Today’s Star columnist: Rod Barnes

Rod Barnes
Rod Barnes
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As a vital emergency service that provides life-saving care and treatment to residents of Yorkshire and its many visitors all year round, Christmas is just like any normal working day for many of our staff.

To ensure patients receive the care they need we have staff working across vital services – our emergency ambulance service, including those taking 999 calls in our Emergency Operations Centre, and the 24/7 NHS 111 service providing advice and help for people with an urgent healthcare need.

We have been experiencing unprecedented levels of demand during the last week and we have been extremely busy responding to everything from heart attacks and strokes to road traffic collisions, alcohol-related illnesses and injuries, and providing advice on common ailments such as indigestion and headaches.

As this holiday period is a traditionally challenging time for us, I am asking people to do what they can to ease the pressure on our services by behaving responsibly, looking after friends and neighbours who may be vulnerable at this time of year and staying safe. This will help to avoid the need to call an ambulance – something no-one wants during this festive time.

Please stock up on medication to manage common health conditions, make sure you have sufficient prescription medicine to last over Christmas and remember to pack your medication if you’re going away.

Take care when you are out and about, keep warm and ensure you drink responsibly.

Please only call 999 in an emergency when it is obvious that you or another person has a serious or life-threatening illness or injury and needs time-critical help.

A dedicated page on our website contains details of local walk-in centres and minor injury units across the Yorkshire and the Humber region in addition to the NHS 111 service provided by the Trust.

You can find the page here or by clicking on the Choose Well link on our homepage at

I would also like to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a safe and enjoyable New Year.