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UPDATE at 10pm: Support from other agencies welcomed

Support from other agencies welcomed – 10pm

Deputy Director of Operations Jason Killens said:

“Pressure on the ambulance service continues and, as part of our contingency planning, we are receiving support from a range of agencies.

“Ambulance services that border the capital are offering support; and GPs have been requested to visit some of those patients who we have been unable to send an ambulance response to, particularly in areas where we are under significant pressure such as East London. The GPs will provide medical care to patients in their homes, and where necessary we will take them to hospital for further treatment.
 
“St John Ambulance and a number of private ambulance providers who are contracted to us are helping us to provide care to some of our patients. And police officers from the Metropolitan Police Service are helping us to respond to lower priority calls where patients have been waiting for an ambulance response. Police medics will carry out initial assessments and give first aid where appropriate. They may take patients with less serious conditions to hospital.”

– 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 bruises.
  • 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 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