Strike delays warning from ambulance bosses

EMAS ambulance paramedic and stretcher - taken by Blast Films
EMAS ambulance paramedic and stretcher - taken by Blast Films

Ambulance bosses have warned that they will only be able to send vehicles to the most serious call-outs during a planned 24-hour strike on Thursday.

Paramedics at East Midlands Ambulance Service will be joining in the industrial action today, as part of the on-going NHS pay dispute.

The walk-out follows previous stoppages in October and November last year.

East Midlands Ambulance Service director of operations Richard Henderson,said: “If national strike action goes ahead it will be much longer in duration than the two previous occasions .

“Our service is incredibly busy, receiving on average a new 999 call every 45 seconds.

“Strike action is proposed to take place over 24-hours on Thursday 29 January, and will have a disruptive impact on the services we provide.

“We continue to work closely with trade union colleagues at GMB and Unison so that human life is not endangered.

“However, during strike action we will only be able to send an ambulance to the most seriously ill and injured and some people will unfortunately experience a delayed response.”

He added: “The last industrial action took place over four-hours and saw approximately 50 per cent of our workforce on duty take some form of strike action. This time the action is for 24-hours and it will be a real challenge for us to get to people in an emergency.

“People should call 999 for life-threatening emergencies which include cardiac arrest, chest pain, unconscious, severe breathing problems,

substantial bleeds or stroke.

“Whilst we work to make every attempt to get to people as quickly as possible, unfortunately we predict there will be delays experienced by some people, including those with broken bones, or those who have fallen and cannot get back up, and some people in road traffic collisions where their life is not at immediate risk.

“I encourage people to plan ahead and be sensible about their activities on Wednesday evening and throughout Thursday. Be prepared to respond to a medical need that you or a loved one may have.

“This industrial action is in response to a national issue, however there will be NHS services available to help support people with minor illness or injury, including NHS111 (free telephone number where you can get advice and be directed to the most appropriate service local to you), GPs, local pharmacy or walk-in, urgent care and minor injury centres.”