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An update on Industrial action Friday 10 February

London Ambulance Service is asking Londoners to stay safe during industrial action today (10 February) by seeking medical help through 111 online or by speaking to their GP and pharmacists unless they face a life or limb emergency.

A fourth day of industrial action is set to take place from 11am to 11pm today, which will involve UNISON members who staff ambulances, those who work in our Emergency Operations Centre, where 999 calls are answered and resources are dispatched, as well as our health advisors who answer 111 calls.

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

Where the situation is not life-threatening, alternative support will be available through 111 online. Please be aware that, where possible, you may be advised to arrange alternative transport to hospital.

On Friday, there will be fewer ambulances on the roads and fewer staff in our control rooms dealing with 999 and 111 calls. As a result, patients may find it takes longer to get through to these services.

Chief Executive Daniel Elkeles said: “We have seen sustained pressure on our services and during Friday’s industrial action there will be fewer staff out on the road and in our control rooms. That’s why it’s vital that that Londoners take steps to keep themselves and their loved ones safe by going to 111 online as 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.”

“However, if it’s a serious medical emergency – such as a heart attack, stroke, unconsciousness, chest pain severe loss of blood or choking – please don’t hesitate to dial 999 as we’ll be responding to our sickest and most seriously injured patients. If you need us, we will be there.

“Once again we are preparing to provide cover for life-threatening emergencies but by keeping 999 calls for incidents such as these you can help save someone’s life who needs us.”

Londoners can also visit an urgent treatment centre if they 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.

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.

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