Military personnel to be drafted in to provide cover
The London Ambulance Service (LAS) says it will be under “significant pressure” next week when staff stage a walk-out on Monday in a national dispute over pay. The Royal College of Midwives is also joining the action on Monday, in what will be the first walkout in its 133-year history.
Staff are due to hold further industrial action - including refusing to work overtime - during the rest of the week.
LAS say services will be disrupted throughout the week and warn that on Monday many patients will not be allocated an ambulance.
While those with life-threatening conditions will still get an ambulance response, those with minor breaks and injuries, women in routine labour and those involved in minor road traffic accidents will be given clinical advice, provided with alternative transport or told to make their own way to hospital.
Military personnel and police vans are being drafted in to help. The Ministry of Defence said that there will be about 130 military drivers replacing the striking London Ambulance Service and North West Ambulance Service drivers. In addition in London 74 police vehicles will also be used for low-priority calls, a Metropolitan Police spokesman said.
Director of Operations Jason Killens said: “We are expecting a significant number of our staff to take four hours of strike action on Monday between 7am and 11am. We have plans in place to ensure we 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 ambulance crews and support from other emergency services.
He warned: “However, people who need an ambulance response, but are not in a life-threatening situation, should expect to wait longer or may not get an ambulance at all.”
October 11, 2014