London Ambulance service Bulletin

21st November 2014


London Ambulance Service Bulletin

As you will know ambulance service staff are among those NHS staff due to take further industrial action in a national dispute over pay on Monday (24th November 2014). The industrial action will take the form of a strike and there will also be further action ‘short of strike’ during the rest of the week, which is expected to include a reduction in the number of ambulance staff available to do overtime.

At this stage we are unable to confirm how many London Ambulance Service staff will take part in the four hours of strike action between 7am and 11am; however, we are expecting the Service to be under significant pressure throughout the day. The previous strike period resulted in the region of 80% of front line staff taking action. This was in line with our planning assumption.

We have plans in place to reach the most seriously ill and injured patients as quickly as possible. These include all clinical managers working on the front line, the use of more private and voluntary sector ambulance crews and support from other emergency services, the wider NHS and other partners. During the strike action we will have paramedics and doctors in our control room who will carry out an enhanced assessment of patients to make sure we target our response to those who need us most.

We will be sending a response to all patients in a life threatening situation but people with injuries such as minor breaks; pregnant women in routine labour; some patients with breathing difficulties or those involved in minor road traffic accidents will be managed differently. This includes being referred to NHS111, giving clinical advice, providing alternative transport, patients waiting longer or being asked to make their own way to hospital. 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.

Although the strike action is only four hours, the Service is expecting it to have an impact across the whole day. We are asking Londoner’s to call NHS111 and only call 999 for an ambulance in a genuine emergency so we have ambulance crews free to respond to life-threatening emergencies.

In an emergency call 999
For non emergencies call 101
For the Anti Terrorist Hotline call 0800 789 321

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