DUE to the industrial action taking place today (Wednesday, November 30) South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust will only be responding to life-threatening emergencies.
The trust said its ability to respond to patients has been significantly hampered as a result of staff taking part in the action today.
As a result the trust is calling on the public to only call 999 for an ambulance if it is absolutely necessary and, where possible, seek alternative advice or assistance from other healthcare providers such as NHS Direct on 01845 4647 or by visiting www.nhs.uk.
The trust has put in place a number of measures to ensure disruption to services is 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, 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.”