Live updates

'Black Friday' lives up to its name as ambulance crews kept busy

An East of England Ambulance Service crew heads out in response to a call. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

The region's ambulance trust dealt with more than 2,700 emergency calls last night as crews battled through what has been dubbed "Black Friday".

Emergency services had expected it to be a busy evening as many people headed out for festive celebrations on the final weekend before Christmas.

The East of England Ambulance Service said it saw a 7.5% increase on the average volume of daily calls over the last four weeks.

The trust's locality director Matt Broad urged people to think carefully before dialling 999.

“We were extremely busy yesterday and last night, but I would like to thank our staff in the control rooms and on the frontline who worked really hard to provide a good service to patients.

"The Christmas and winter period is always busy for the ambulance service and I would encourage anyone who needs medical help to choose well – if you need help but it is not an emergency please call 111, which is open 24 hours a day and who will be able to get the right help for you.”

– Matt Broad, East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

Emergency services braced for busiest weekend of the year

Emergency services are braced for what is expected to be the busiest weekend of the year as thousands of office parties take place.

Police and paramedics are putting on extra patrols in case things get out of hand.

A & E units are also drafting in more staff as already busy hospitals come under more pressure.

Click below to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Sarah Cooper

Advertisement

Ambulance crews prepare for 'Black Friday'

Ambulance crews gear up for 'Black Friday' Credit: ITV News Anglia

The number of calls to the East of England Ambulance service are up 11% compared to 2013 and that is before 'Black Friday' gets underway tonight.

Crews call the last Friday before Christmas 'Black Friday' as people make the most of what is for some, their last working day before Christmas.

There were 700 more callouts than average last Saturday and it's expected that figure will be exceeded tonight.

For special safety guidelines issued by the ambulance service. Click here.

New East Anglian ambulance chief sought

Anthony Marsh is to step down as interim Chief Executive of the East of England Ambulance Trust Credit: ITV News Anglia

The head of the East of England Ambulance Service is to step down in the coming months as the search for his sucessor begins less than a year after he started the job.

Anthony Marsh became interim Chief Executive of the Trust in January, tasked with improving ambulance response times. Also Chief Executive of the West Midlands Ambulance Service, he faced criticism over his quarter of a million pound salary.

His appointment was meant to last for up to two years, but the trust has already advertised for a replacement. Mr Marsh will stay until a successor is found.

Advertisement

Warning not to go to Bedford A&E unless absolutely necessary

Bedford Hospital has told people not to come to its Accident and Emergency department unless it's absolutely necessary.

Bedford hospital is urging patients to stay away from A&E unless absolutely necessary. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The hospital is struggling to cope with what it's calling "exceptionally high demand" and cancelled all routine operations on Thursday 18 December to free up beds.

Hospital bosses say they're working hard to resolve the issue but have warned that patients with serious and life-threatening conditions will take priority in the meantime.

Teresa's dying wish that others get the chance of life

A woman's dying wish to boost the organ donor register by 10,000 has been fulfilled.

Teresa Sandeman-Charles, from Duddenhoe End near Saffron Walden in Essex, set up a charity called Save 5 to try to boost the number of people signing up to be organ donors.

It came after she was diagnosed with two terminal lung conditions despite never having smoked herself. She died on Friday 12 December before she could have a transplant herself. She was 54.

"You still have this belief that somebody that special deserves to live and you just couldn't admit that she wasn't going to.

"If you could prevent your family or somebody else's family going through such terrible grief by donating your organs, think about it. It's one of the best things you can do in life."

– Roy Sandeman-Charles, Teresa's husband

Click below to watch Claire McGlasson's report

Teresa's dying wish - to get more people on the organ donor register

Teresa Sandeman-Charles campaigned for more organ donors Credit: ITV News Anglia

Teresa Sandeman-Charles from Essex, who was known as 'T' has had her dying wish come true, after 10,000 people signed up to her campaign for organ donors.

The 54 year old from Duddenhoe End near Saffron Walden, was diagnosed with two terminal lung conditions and set up the 'Save5' charity to boost the number of people on the organ donor register.

Teresa died last week, before she could have a transplant herself.

Teresa set up the charity Save5 Credit: ITV News Anglia
Roy Sandeman-Charles, Teresa's husband Credit: ITV News Anglia

"She was in Papworth receiving a heavy dose of steroids, she told me she was in floods of tears in the bed, not because of what she was going through, but because she realised that three people die every day waiting on a transplant and there and then she came up with the idea of Save5."

– Roy Sandeman-Charles, Teresa's husband

A transplant was the only way to save Teresa. She had never smoked, but was diagnosed with two incurable lung diseases, one so rare it affects only 8 people in the world.

"Everyone who signs up to be a donor has the chance to save five lives."

– Teresa Sandeman-Charles,speaking in 2013
Load more updates