Ambulance bosses are to repeat their pioneering "drunk tank" initiative in Birmingham over Easter weekend, it was revealed yesterday.
West Midlands Ambulance Service teamed up with medics from Central Accident Resuscitation team and St John Ambulance volunteers treated 103 patients at a temporary medical centre on Broad Street during the Christmas and New Year festivities.
The aim of the project is to alleviate pressure on A&E units at the city's hospitals during the holiday weekend, to allow them to treat more severely injured or sick patients, rather than deal with drink-related injuries.
Anyone needing emergency medical care over the weekend, in the city centre, should still dial 999 for an ambulance in the normal way, however the ambulance crew will then have the option to take them to the clinic rather than to a hospital where appropriate.
The clinic will operate between 9pm and 5am on Good Friday and Easter Saturday.
Similar treatment centres will also be set up this Sunday, at strategic sites across Birmingham as thousands of people celebrate St Patrick's Day and take part in Sport Relief Mile events.
Anthony Marsh, the trust's chief executive, said: "This will free up our crews to respond to further patients much more quickly.
"The clinic is advantageous to both the ambulance service and local hospital emergency departments."