AMBULANCES will continue to respond ‘where there is a threat to life’ despite today’s strike action by West Midlands Ambulance Service staff.
Members of Unite are on strike until 5.59pm while GMB members are out until 11.59pm in a row over pay.
In a letter to the PM, NHS chiefs say there is ‘deep concern’ among care providers about the risk to patients during the walkout
But despite this, residents are being an assurance the service will respond to the most urgent calls such as cardiac arrests and where a crew request immediate back up at the scene of a case.
Other very serious cases such as heart attacks, strokes, difficulty in breathing and maternity cases will also be attended
In a statement, West Midlands Ambulance Service Trust said it respects the right of trade union members to take such action or demonstrate their support for strike action. Emergency Services Operations Delivery director Nathan Hudson, said the trust had held ‘productive discussions’ with staff ahead of the action.
“In addition, staff in our non-emergency patient transport service will continue to convey vulnerable groups such as patients undertaking renal dialysis, cancer treatments, palliative care, emergency scans within the strike period timeframe.
“Only call 999 if you or the patient is critically unwell or there is risk to life. Ambulances will be dispatched where clinically appropriate.
“If you need medical help or advice, go to NHS 111 online (www.111.nhs.uk), your local GP or pharmacy.”