Wednesday 30 November - 11.45am
To be attributed to Deputy Director of
Operations Jason Killens:
“More people are dialing 999 today than normal
which is adding to the considerable pressure we are already under.
Londoners should use us wisely and should only call for an
ambulance in a genuine emergency.
“Around 73 per cent of staff are working in
the control room answering calls and dispatching ambulances, and
about 58 per cent of staff are either working as normal responding
to patients or providing emergency cover.
“To help us provide a safe service, we are
prioritising our response so that our most seriously ill and
injured patients get help quickly, but some people, who are not in
a life-threatening condition, will have to wait longer than normal
for an ambulance response.
“Our staff will answer all 999 calls, but some
patients with minor illnesses or injuries – such as back pain,
upset stomachs or small cuts and bruises – will not receive an
ambulance response. Instead, they will be given advice on how to
look after themselves or told where else to seek help.
“We recognise the right of staff to take part
in the industrial action over the Government’s proposed pension
reforms, and will continue to work closely with unions to enable us
to reach our most seriously ill and injured patients as quickly as
“People should only dial 999 in a
genuine emergency. For all other healthcare needs, there are a
range of services available: you can get help or advice from your
local pharmacist or GP, visit a walk-in centre, minor injuries unit
or urgent care centre or even make your own way to hospital – going
in an ambulance does not mean you will be seen any quicker.”
- Ends -
Notes to editors
- Some of our staff taking part in industrial action and
responding to patients are providing ‘emergency cover’.
- Emergency cover is the level of service that
unions and the Service have agreed staff working in frontline roles
can provide while still supporting industrial action.
- Under the emergency cover arrangements agreed
with unions, staff who work on the road treating patients will only
respond to the most seriously ill and injured patients and will not
go to patients with minor conditions such as upset stomachs or cuts
- Staff who work in the control room will still
answer 999 calls and dispatch ambulances, but their duties will be
limited so they will not carry out a number of administrative
functions such as recording turnaround times at hospitals.
- Our patient transport service that takes
people to hospital appointments will operate a reduced service. The
only journeys to go ahead as normal will be those for
high-dependency patients such as those needing dialysis or cancer
For further information about the London
Ambulance Service or this news release please contact the
communications department on 020 7783 2286.
Find out more about the London Ambulance
Service at http://www.londonambulance.nhs.uk/
or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ldn_ambulance