The chief medical officer has asked New Year’s revellers to be mindful of the NHS crisis when they go out drinking tonight (Picture: Getty)
The chief medical officer for Wales has urged New Year’s Eve partygoers not to drink ‘too much’ tonight in an effort to reduce strain on the nation’s overstretched health service.
Sir Frank Atherton told BBC One’s Breakfast programme ahead of tonight’s celebrations: ‘I agree people generally behave very sensibly.
‘Sadly, when alcohol gets thrown into the mix, and it gets thrown in a big way in new year, that can sometimes go out of the window.
‘And so we are asking people to behave sensibly- Don’t put themselves at risk, don’t put others at risk, look after each other when you’re out and about, don’t drink too much and don’t get into trouble.’
He added: ‘Similarly, this is not the time to be putting yourself at risk with dangerous activities, anything that increases the risk to you in person, given the fact we do have delays to ambulance services and they really can only meet the needs of the most seriously ill.’
When asked what activities people should avoid to reduce the risk of injury, he added: ‘Now is not the time to be going out and starting to do a huge long run.
Sir Frank Atherton has implored people not to drink so much they end up at A&E due to the ongoing NHS crisis (Picture: BBC)
‘We want people to get fit and active in the New Year, of course we do, but do it sensibly, think about pacing yourself, about not taking on too much all at once.
‘Keeping yourself warm at home is really important as well, looking after your health, I know that’s very difficult with the cost-of-living crisis.
‘Watch out for your loved ones. Make sure that people are kept safe, particularly the elderly at this time of year, and make sure that they are well hydrated at home.
‘People can get dehydrated very quickly, and we know that elderly people who get dehydrated then run into problems with frailty, they have falls, and they need to be brought to hospital.
Sir Atherton said the measures were necessary ‘so we can look after each other and look after ourselves and keep the NHS capacity for those who really need it.’
A&E services around the country have been overwhelmed with an unprecedented demand in recent weeks, with reports of patients being forced to wait for up to 30 hours to get a bed and pictures emerging of patients lying on the floor writhing in pain as they wait for treatment.
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