NYE 2022: Pubs prepare for busiest night of the year, in first post pandemic New Year's parties

Pubs are preparing for their biggest New Year's Eve since the beginning of the pandemic as revellers look to enjoy the last night of 2022, amid health warnings as NHS pressures increase.

They're expecting it to be the busiest night of the year, and hopes are high that it'll bolster takings after the festive season.

At The Squirrels Pub in Duston, Northamptonshire, landlady Miranda Richardson says she's expecting a packed pub on New Year's Eve.

She said: "What you're beginning to see is people saying things like they can't wait to come out, can't wait to celebrate. We've had some massive bookings over this holiday, you know people ringing up wanting a table for 12, a table for 14, we've got family coming they're 70, these were things people couldn't do the last couple of years so it's really nice to see that. And we fit them in as and where we can, it's just great seeing people out, celebrating and being together."

The parties come with a stark warning though, as hospitals warn people to make sensible choices, to ease pressure on our already creaking emergency departments.

Bosses at West Suffolk Hospital issued a warning yesterday - saying they're expecting the New Year's Bank Holiday weekend to be their busiest period. They're asking the public to make "the right choices" as we move into 2023.

The message is being reinforced by GPs who are expecting to see numbers of patients rise over the next week.

Dr Gary Howsam from Nene Valley Medical Practice said: "We're seeing unprecedented levels of people trying to access NHS care and advice over the holiday period. And those pressures are continuing right across from general practice into our hospitals. We're doing a number of things to try and rectify that, but we would ask the public to help us as well."

In Northampton Town Centre, volunteers with the Northampton Guardians will try to keep people safe on one of the biggest nights of the year for drinking.

The group was set up after 20 year old India Chipchase was raped and murdered by a man on a night out almost 7 years ago.

They've now helped more than a thousand vulnerable people over the last year.

Gill Goodship, one of the volunteers said: "I mean India's the reason behind everything we do, what happened to her shouldn't have happened and we know that we've made a difference. We can't prove that we've stopped something happening by the nature of what we do, we can't prove that, but we know that we have helped a number of vulnerable people who otherwise may have come to some sort of harm."