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An update on industrial action on Monday 23 January

Article updated on Tuesday 24 January to include a statement from our Chief Executive, Daniel Elkeles, on the industrial action that took place on Monday 23 January:

“Yesterday (Monday 23 January) saw a third day of industrial action where we once again had to work incredibly hard to provide a life and limb emergency service for London.

“This was only possible due to the goodwill and help of senior clinicians from elsewhere in the NHS, the support of the military, London Fire Brigade, and the Metropolitan Police. We also are grateful to the support of the public who continued to use the 999 service wisely.

“However, this response is increasingly difficult to sustain. We all came into the NHS to provide great care for patients and want to focus on improving that care now we have emerged from the COVID pandemic. I hope that there can be a resolution to this soon.”

An update on industrial action on Monday 23 January:

A third day of industrial action by ambulance service staff is set to take place from 11am to 11pm on Monday 23 January 2023. It will involve London Ambulance Service UNISON members who staff ambulances and our Emergency Operations Centres, where 999 calls are answered and resources are dispatched.

Londoners should only call 999 if they are in a medical or mental health emergency, which is when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk.

On Monday, there will be fewer ambulances on the roads and fewer staff in our control rooms triaging 999 calls. As a result, patients may find it takes longer to get through to these services. Those whose conditions are not life-threatening are unlikely to get an ambulance. Where the situation is not life-threatening, alternative support will be available through NHS111 online. Please be aware that, where possible, you may be advised to arrange alternative transport to hospital.

If you are in a life or limb threatening emergency, do not hesitate to dial 999.

Like health and social care services across the city, London Ambulance Service is busy, with high numbers of urgent and emergency calls coming in and high numbers of patients waiting for an ambulance.

Monday is usually one of the busiest days of the week for our service, with more patients needing our help after the weekend. Additionally, the recent period of low temperatures may see more people becoming ill or suffering an injury in the icy conditions and calling 999. People should take extra care and look after themselves and their loved-ones before and on the day of the strike.

While the industrial action will last for a 12-hour period, LAS expects the impact on services to be felt into the following days as it works to help as many people as possible.

In a serious medical emergency, call 999. This includes unconsciousness, chest pain, difficulty breathing, severe loss of blood and choking.

If it’s urgent, but it’s not a serious medical emergency, please consider other options.

You can get support for urgent medical worries by going to NHS 111 online. This should also be your first port of call if you’re unsure what to do.

Don’t forget GPs and pharmacies can also help. Speak to a pharmacist for advice on medicines or common problems like coughs, colds and rashes.

You can go to an urgent treatment centre if you need urgent medical attention, but it’s not a life-threatening situation. Conditions that can be treated at an urgent treatment centre (also known as a walk-in centre or minor injury unit) include sprains, suspected broken limbs, cuts and grazes and minor scalds and burns.

Read more about urgent treatment centres. More information from the NHS on where to get medical help can be found on NHS.UK.

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