Wednesday 30 November - 9.05am
Use your ambulance service wisely during today’s industrial
To be attributed to Deputy Director of Operations Jason
“Today’s industrial action is putting us under considerable
pressure, and we urge all Londoners to use us wisely and only dial
999 for an ambulance if they think it is a genuine emergency.
“We recognise the right of staff to take part in the industrial
action over the Government’s proposed pension reforms, and we’re
working closely with unions to enable us to reach our most
seriously ill and injured patients as quickly as possible.
“In the first few hours of action, around half of our staff were
either working normally or providing emergency cover as agreed with
“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, are having to wait longer than
normal for an ambulance response.
“While staff will be answering all 999 calls, 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.
“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 and
- 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 care.
For further information about the London Ambulance Service or this
news release please contact the communications department on 020
Find out more about the London Ambulance Service at www.londonambulance.nhs.uk
or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ldn_ambulance