Paramedics will only respond to life threatening emergencies due to strikes

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SOUTH East Coast Ambulance (SECamb) Service NHS Foundation Trust will only respond to life threatening emergencies today (Wednesday November 30) due to industrial action.

The trust said its ability to respond to patients had been significantly hampered as a result of staff taking part in the action.

As a result the trust is calling on the public to only call 999 for an ambulance if it is absolutely necessary.

Where possible it is urging patients to seek alternative advice or assistance from other healthcare providers such as NHS Direct on 01845 4647 or www.nhs.uk.

The trust said it was committed to ensuring the safety of patients during this period and had put in place measures to ensure disruption was kept to minimum.

These include ensuring all operational managers are available to respond to emergencies, using voluntary sector organisations as well as private providers as necessary.

However to ensure potentially life threatening emergencies get the response they need, some patients may have to wait longer for an ambulance response.

SECAmb’s director of clinical operations Andy Newton said: “Clearly our main priority now is to get to those patients who need us most and therefore have taken the decision to focus our efforts on the patients with life-threatening conditions.

“Therefore, we would ask people to bear with us and where possible avoid calling us during this period of industrial action.”