Ambulance crews received close to a thousand calls on New Year's Eve in 2021, a trust has said as it asked for help to releive pressure.

South East Coast Ambulance Service (Secamb) say that they were inundated with calls from 8pm onwards last year and are now calling on people to consider when to call 999.

The message comes in a call to reduce pressure on the service after Christmas, with demand expected to remain high going into 2023.

Secamb executive director of operations Emma Williams, said: “We have faced significant pressure on our services for many weeks but we know that New Year’s Eve can bring additional challenges.

“Of course, we know that many people will want to celebrate the new year but we ask that they do this sensibly, understanding the impact their decisions can have on an already stretched ambulance service.

“I would like to thank all our staff and volunteers for their hard work and professionalism at this busy time and urge the public to show their support by using NHS services wisely.”

People are being asked to only call 999 in a genuine emergency, such as a heart attack or a traumatic back or neck injury.

Secamb are also advising people to use alternative services such as calling 111.