A SPECIALIST paramedic who treated the 10,000th patient at Chipping Norton First Aid Unit has said there is nothing better than keeping families well over the holidays.

Chrissy Ames, who has worked at the unit since mid-December 2016, was presented with a cake by colleagues to celebrate the milestone.

The 36-year-old is uncertain exactly who the patient would have been as she saw 21 people over the course of Easter Monday.

She said: "It was one of those days where it was absolutely hectically busy. I had a waiting room full of patients and was playing catch-up all day.

"It was only after I sat down and loaded eight or nine patients' worth of notes into the computer that I realised what had happened.

"Very few people in the unit are desperately ill. It would have been someone who needed medical attention that wasn't life-threatening.

"They had done the right thing by seeking assistance and we were lucky to be in a position to help."

The first aid unit is located within the community hospital in Russell Way and opened its doors in 2011, offering services people might otherwise go to A&E for.

Two on-duty paramedics offer out-of-hours treatment for minor injuries that cannot be dealt with at home, such as sprains, insect bites, burns and wounds needing stitches.

Mrs Ames said patients were 'really grateful' to have the service in close proximity, particularly over the Christmas and Easter holidays.

She said: "Whole families come in over Christmas when one gets an infection and then they all do, and we have been able to help them enjoy their holiday without clogging the system.

"Over Christmas a particular elderly lady had a significant would that needed daily dressing. By the time she and her family arrived in Oxfordshire it was infected.

"What could have turned into a hospital situation resulted in myself being able to treat her every day and make sure she wasn't getting worse.

"Seeing the family happy and seeing the difference it makes was so important for me and is why I do it."

Mrs Ames, who has worked for South Central Ambulance Service for 10 years, added that word was spreading and demand on the service is increasing.

She said: "We are consistently seeing double figures, even on a weekday evening. On certain days we could actually do with more assistance.

"It manageable as it is now, but we are getting a lot of people in, and that's testament to the success of the unit."

The Chipping Norton First Aid Unit is open from 5pm to 9pm on weekdays and from 10am to 9pm on weekends and Bank Holidays.

For more information call 01608 648 233.