Specially adapted ambulances will be monitoring the streets of Croydon this weekend as London braces itself for festive drinking.
The booze buses, modified ambulances that allow up to three patients to be transported to alcohol recovery centres, are preparing for the heavy drinking that accompanies the last weekend before Christmas.
They will traffic patients suffering from the effects of alcohol to allow regular ambulances to assist those with life threatening injuries.
Croydon will have its own temporary alcohol recovery centre set up from tomorrow night for three days when the worst of the alcohol-related injuries usually occur.
Last December 232 alcohol-related incidents requiring an ambulance were recorded in Croydon. This year many of those patients will be treated by the alcohol recovery centre rather than A&E.
Deputy Director of Operations for the London Ambulance Service, Kevin Brown said: “We want people to have a good time but we know from experience that many Londoners drink far too much alcohol on a night out, especially during the festive period.”
“Most patients we look after have nothing wrong with them medically and just need a safe place to sober up. But excessive drinking can cause injuries, like sprains and cuts, and impair judgement putting people at risk as well as the long term health impacts it may have.”
The London Ambulance Service attended nearly 1.1 million incidents in 2013/14, with over 70,000 of those involving alcohol. The age group which made the most alcohol-related calls to the London Ambulance Service was 25 to 29 year olds.