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HomeBreaking NewsLondon Ambulance Service declares critical incident ahead of walkouts

London Ambulance Service declares critical incident ahead of walkouts

'Quick read' news summary

The London Ambulance Service declared a “business continuity incident” on Monday evening ahead of walkouts later this week, warning that the sickest and most severely injured patients would be prioritised as the service faces extraordinary demand. 

The service warned that its 999 and 111 services remained “extremely busy” and urged people to only call 999 for serious medical emegencies.

“Our staff are working hard, but our 999 and 111 services remain extremely busy,” the service wrote on Twitter. 

“As part of our escalation plans, we’ve declared a Business Continuity Incident to help us manage the situation. We are prioritising our sickest and most severely injured patients.” 

It said that conditions which are classed as serious medical emergencies include, but are not limited to, chest pain, difficulty breathing, severe loss of blood and choking.

It added that people who need urgent medical attention, but who are not in a life-threatening condition, can attend urgent treatment centres. Conditions that can be treated there inlcude sprains, suspected broken limbs, cuts and grazes, minor scalds and burns. 

The incident came on the eve of thousands of nurses holding their second national walkout on Tuesday across England, Wales and Northern Ireland in a dispute over pay. 

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has been asking for 19.5 per cent pay rises – five per cent above inflation – although it has indicated that it would accept a lower offer.

However, the Government has only accepted recommendations made by the NHS Pay Review Body to give nurses below inflation pay rises of around four per cent.

Meanwhile, Britain is braced for the largest ambulance strike in 30 years on Wednesday, when tens of thousands of ambulance workers will also walk out in a dispute over pay. 

GMB, Unision and Unite, representing around 25,000 ambulance workers, are walking out in a coordinated strike involving parademics, call handlers

The London Ambulance Service declared a "business continuity incident" on Monday evening ahead of walkouts later this week, warning that the sickest and most severely injured patients would be prioritised as the service faces extraordinary demand. The service warned that its 999 and 111 services remained "extremely busy" and urged people to only call 999 for serious medical emegencies. "As part of our escalation plans, we've declared a Business Continuity Incident to help us manage the situation.

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