Ambulance service affected by strike action today

Ambulance service affected by strike action today <i>(Image: SCAS)</i>
Ambulance service affected by strike action today (Image: SCAS)

South Central Ambulance Service is affected by industrial action by two unions today and tomorrow.

Additional action in local hospitals today may also have an impact on services.

GMB – 6 February, 6am to 11.59pm

SCAS has just over 230 GMB members, out of around 4,500 staff across all services. Most GMB members work within the non-emergency patient transport service in Surrey and Sussex, but there may be some action in 999 and 111 services.

The essential service GMB members will continue to provide include:

Patient Transport Services – non-emergency transport for patients such as dialysis, oncology, palliative care and hospital discharges and transfers.

Ambulance crews – Patients suffering life- threatening/serious emergency situations which make up around 60% of calls.

999/111 control centres – It is not expected this strike action to have a significant impact on staffing in control centres. However, GMB has agreed that 75% of their members, who are due on shift on 6 February, will continue to work to support essential services within control centres.

Royal College of Nursing – 6 and 7 February, 6.30am to 8pm both days

There are around 125 RCN members in SCAS in a range of frontline and clinical support roles. The essential services they will continue to provide are being agreed nationally with the RCN.

Strike day planning and co-ordination

On both days SCAS will have a virtual control and command centre in place and extra staff in control rooms and local hospitals where industrial action is taking place.

This will help support services and hospital colleagues to ensure patients needing urgent and emergency care continue to get responsive and high-quality support.

SCAS is urging people to only call 999 in a life-threatening or serious emergency.

Patients who may require an ambulance, where it is not time-critical or serious, may face a longer wait than the national target times of two or three hours.

SCAS asks for patience if this happens and to only call back if the patient’s condition worsens.

Pharmacists, local GPs, urgent treatment centres, 111 online and the NHS App are all available and can advise on a range of minor illnesses and injuries, provide advice on managing symptoms and getting repeat prescriptions.



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