THE Welsh Ambulance Service has said demand for their services over Christmas was higher than last year amid staff absences.

Calls to 999 and 111 were high over the festive period and particularly over the Bank Holidays on December 27 and December 28.

The Welsh Ambulance service has admitted to a slight increase in staff absences, though they say that this is being managed.

Sonia Thompson, assistant director of operations (Emergency Medical Services) for the Welsh Ambulance Service said: "The demand picture over the festive period this year was busier than that of 2020, with an uplift of six per cent per cent across all calls to 999. 

"Demand on our 111 service across the recent Bank Holiday was incredibly busy, with around 6,000 incoming calls a day – 50 per cent more than any normal weekend."

The ambulance service is now preparing for what may be a busy few days during New Year's celebrations and is looking ahead to 2022.

"This New Year’s Eve and into 2022 we shall be keeping a close watching brief on demand for our services following the introduction of new Welsh Government guidance on social gatherings and the closure of nightclubs", said Ms Thompson.

"As with all other services during the pandemic we are experiencing slightly increased staff abstraction levels, but are managing this with well-rehearsed resilience plans.

"We thank all of our staff for their dedication to providing the best possible emergency care to the people of Wales."