UPDATE at 9.30pm Demand on Service rises again this evening

Demand on London Ambulance Service rises again this evening

To be attributed to Deputy Director of Operations Jason Killens:

“As predicted, demand on our service has increased again since early evening. Between 6pm and 7pm calls were 18 per cent higher than normal. At 7 pm we received 13 per cent more calls than expected.

“We remain under significant pressure and have asked our unions to request their members to return to work as normal.

“We currently have around half of our vehicles staffed and available to respond to calls and about 100 patients waiting for ambulances.

“We are sorry for the delay and we are doing all we can to respond to our most seriously ill and injured patients. That is heart attack patients, people who have collapsed and are not breathing or who have received traumatic injuries.

“Again we ask people to only dial 999 if someone’s life is in danger. For all other healthcare needs, we would advise you to 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

  • Between 6pm and 7pm we received 248 calls – 18 per cent more than expected.
  • Between 7pm and 8 pm we received 254 calls – 13 per cent more than expected.
  • 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