UPDATE at 9.30pm Service accepts support from Metropolitan Police Service

Ambulance Service accepts support from Metropolitan Police Service – 9.30pm

To be attributed to Deputy Director of Operations Jason Killens:

“As part of our contingency plans we have explored with the Met and other London partners any opportunity for support during today’s industrial action.

“Shortly before 9pm we accepted an offer of support from the Metropolitan Police Service.

“Police officers are helping us to respond to lower priority calls where patients have been waiting longer than expected for an ambulance.

“Police officers and police medics – who we work with on a regular basis – will carry out initial assessments and give first aid where appropriate.  They may take patients with less serious illnesses and injuries to hospital. Should they need medical advice, clinicians are available in our control room to speak to them.”

– 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