PERFORMANCE: South East Coast Ambulance Service Foundation Trust handled in excess of four calls a minute on a busier than ever New Year’s Eve.

It received 1,544 calls between 10pm on 31 December and 4am on 1 January – an increase of more than 20 per cent on last year.

The top reasons for people calling the trust on New Year’s Eve were to report assaults, falls, breathing problems, trauma and mental health issues.

Trust chief executive Paul Sutton said: “Christmas and New Year’s Eve is always a very challenging time of year for the ambulance service and this year was particularly busy for all our staff and volunteers.

“I’d like to personally thank everyone for their efforts, hard work and commitment this festive period and throughout the whole of 2012.”