Record weekend emergencies

 Monday 21 December 2015

Over the weekend Scottish Ambulance Service emergency teams responded to nearly 6,000 incidents, making it the busiest of the year for 999 calls.

In the three days from Friday to Sunday, ambulance crews responded to 5,869 incidents, which is 618 more than average weekend demand throughout the year – an extra 200 incidents per day. 

Alcohol was a significant factor in the rise as at peak times ambulance teams were managing increases of around 50% while the festive party season was in full flow.

The busiest day of the weekend was Friday, with 2,033 incidents, followed by 1,961 on Saturday and 1,875 on Sunday.

Pauline Howie, Chief Executive, Scottish Ambulance Service, said:
“Our staff worked tirelessly throughout a very challenging weekend to deliver appropriate care to our patients. As demand continues to be particularly high this year, we would ask the public to use the 999 system wisely and so that we can prioritise valuable resources to those that need us most.

“There is no doubt that alcohol is a significant factor in these increases and people can help us and themselves by drinking responsibly and not over indulging.”

For any healthcare need, other than a serious or life threatening emergency, that can’t wait until the local GP surgery opens, the public should contact NHS 24 on 111, or for general health information go to or