In the South East Coast Ambulance Service region, the GMB Union balloted its members for industrial action last year and met the legal threshold to take action.
To date, industrial action has taken place on 21 December 2022 and on 11 January and 6 February 202. The GMB Union has announced further days of industrial action on 20 February, 6 March and 20 March.
As with the previous day’s action we ask for the public’s continued support in only calling 999 in the event of a genuine emergency.
We ask that people help us manage demand by making use of alternatives to calling 999 if they are not facing an emergency including seeking help and advice via NHS 111 Online – 111.nhs.uk.
Ahead of the of industrial action we have continued to work closely with our GMB Union branch and all staff to ensure the impact on patients during the industrial action is kept to a minimum.
We have worked with the union to agree an approach during the industrial action, which follows the same approach on previous strike days. This has focussed on consideration to support colleagues’ right to take action in collaboration with potential impacts on patient care. The priority throughout has been balancing patient safety with the right to strike.
As ever, we will be working hard to respond to patients and prioritising our response to our most seriously ill and injured patients.
Anyone not facing a life-threatening emergency is likely to wait longer for a response or be directed to alternative care.
We ask that people seek help and advice from alternatives including their own GP or a pharmacist. For urgent help for people aged 5 or over, use NHS 111 Online at 111.nhs.uk. If outside of normal GP hours, call 111 for children under 5. Call 999 if it’s a life-threatening emergency.
Further information is available to the public here: https://www.england.nhs.uk/long-read/information-for-the-public-on-industrial-action/