Rise in calls to ambulance service during New Year festivities in Barking and Dagenham

Paramedics were called to 156 incidents in Barking and Dagenham on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day - the majority of them alcohol related.

The number of calls was nine per cent higher than last year, according to Paul Gibson, ambulance operations manager for the borough.

He added: “Every year we get busier and busier so our New Year’s message to Barking and Dagenham residents is use us wisely in 2013 and only call in an emergency.

“Consider using other NHS Services such as pharmacies, GP surgeries and walk-in centers or call NHS Direct on 0845 4647 for advice.”

Mr Gibson said the last few weeks had been particularly busy for the ambulance service as their had been a high number of people in the borough suffering from the norovirus, also known as the winter vomiting bug.