Mad Friday 2014: Emergency services prepare for busiest night out of the year

19 December is set to be a buy one for bars, police and hospitals

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The Independent Online

Bars, pubs, police and emergency services are preparing for the busiest night of the year as revellers head out drinking on so-called Mad Friday.

Friday 19 December is believed to be the busiest evening of the year for work Christmas parties – meaning more alcohol consumed and more incidents requiring the help of the emergency services.

Sales of alcohol soared by 114 per cent on Mad Friday compared with an average Friday in 2013.

Police and ambulance services are now urging those heading out on Friday evening to drink responsibly.

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Trust is postponing training so doctors can be available to do extra rounds on wards, while welfare centres are opening in Rhyl and Wrexham to cope with the expected influx of patients.

In Liverpool, extra staff have been brought in to the Royal Liverpool Hospital’s A&E department, with a spokesperson there telling the Liverpool Echo it saw an increase in admissions on the same night last year. 

Manchester police have enlisted 100 extra officers in the evening to deal with the up to 200,000 people expected to head out.

Street pastors are also using social media to encourage people not to drink excessively, with Christian Nightlife Initiatives launching their own StaySafe campaign.

The campaign advises people to drink water between drinks, stay in groups and save enough money for transport home at the end of the night.

Additional reporting by PA