There is industrial action planned by some members of staff who work for South East Coast Ambulance Service on Wednesday 21 December 2022 (06.00 to 23.59) and Wednesday 11 January 2023 (00.01 to 23.59).
During this period all services at the Trust will continue to run as normal, including emergency care. GP services are not impacted by the industrial action but the local NHS will be very busy. If you need medical help or advice, go to NHS111 online unless it’s a life-threatening emergency when you should still call 999.
Patients should only call 999 if it is a medical or mental health emergency (when someone is seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk).
Ambulances will still be able to respond in these situations, but this may only be where there is an immediate risk to life.
There will be fewer ambulances on the roads during industrial action and as a result, patients whose conditions are not life-threatening are unlikely to get an ambulance on days where industrial action is taking place.
It is also likely that 999 call handlers will be very busy. NHS 111 call centres will have fewer staff, with longer call response times expected. The advice for anyone seeking non-urgent care is to first seek help from NHS 111 online.