How to access care during ambulance service strike action

10 January 2023

On 11 January, there will be fewer ambulances on the road and fewer staff in ambulance control rooms triaging 999 calls, due to strike action.

The London Ambulance Service is advising patients only to call 999 if it is a medical or mental health emergency. This includes unconsciousness, chest pain, difficulty breathing, a server loss of blood or when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk.

Patients whose conditions are not life-threatening are unlikely to get an ambulance during the strike. If you need medical help fast, please use 111 online to get assessed and directed to the care you need. If required, you may need to arrange alternative transport to hospital.

For more information on the industrial action, please visit the London Ambulance Service website.

We are always here for those who need care.

Regardless of any strike action taking place, it is really important that patients who need urgent medical care continue to come forward as normal, especially in emergency and life-threatening cases – when someone is seriously ill or injured, or their life is at risk.

For those driving to our emergency department in a medical emergency, please follow instructions from staff marshalling the hospital site and do not park on or obstruct our roads.

If you need care, but it isn’t an emergency, there are a number of options available:

If you have an urgent healthcare need but it isn’t an emergency, contact NHS 111 online as your first port of call, as this service can quickly advise you where to go and what to do next.

Your local pharmacy can also provide advice on minor health concerns from skin rashes to earaches and flu. Many pharmacies open late and no appointment is needed. Find your nearest pharmacy here.

Contact your GP surgery for appointments about illnesses or injuries that won’t go away. Many GPs offer an out of hours service.

Find out more about where to go if you need medical advice, but it’s not an emergency.

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