PEOPLE are being urged to use 999 wisely after the ambulance service experienced its busiest Christmas ever.

The East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust said it had seen higher than expected levels of demand.

Kevin Brown, the director of service delivery, said: “I would like to thank all of our staff and volunteers for their hard work over the Christmas period.

“It has been an incredibly busy one with high levels of demand, particularly on Boxing Day when we had one of our busiest days of the year with more than 4,200 calls.”

He said yesterday had been another busy day with snowy weather in some parts making things trickier.

He added: “We will always prioritise patients with life-threatening conditions above other calls and that calling 999 should be for these sorts of emergencies only.”

People should use the NHS Choices website, pharmacies, NHS 111, walk-in centres and GP surgeries for medical advice.