PEOPLE are being advised to take extra precautions over Christmas to reduce emergency call-outs.
South Central Ambulance Service (Scas) said it saw an increase in the number of calls it received over the weekend.
Scas predicts this will continue in the run-up to Christmas and wants to reduce the number of 999 calls made.
Incidents such as road traffic collisions due to weather, falls and people suffering from chest pains and injuries from assaults all increased.
It is hoped minor injuries can be dealt with through other services and will free ambulance staff to deal with more serious incidents.
Scas has issued the following advice to see if people can avoid calling the emergency services unnecessarily.
n People with flu should wash their hands properly and ensure they throw away used tissues.
n Visit walk-in centres.
n Take care when walking or driving over icy surfaces.
n If you take prescription medication make sure you have enough for the Christmas period.
n Call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 or visit nhsdirect.nhs.uk.
n If you are suffering from a life- threatening emergency such as a heart attack, severe blood, loss or difficulty breathing, or suffer a serious accident, then dial 999 immediately.