London Ambulance industrial action

20 December 2022


It has been announced that the London Ambulance Service will be striking on Wednesday 21 December from midday to midnight. The following days may also be affected as a result.

While our staff and services will be working as normal, we are expecting our Urgent Treatment Centres to be busier than usual and ask you to use services responsibly and think NHS 111 first so we can prioritise our sickest patients.

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.

We are always here for those who need care.

Please read the information below for more information and advice.

How to access urgent or emergency care

On days where there is strike action, you should only call 999 if it is a medical or mental health emergency (when someone is seriously ill or injured and 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, with the NHS prioritising those with life-threatening needs. As a result, patients whose conditions are not life-threatening may not get an ambulance on strike days.

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

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.

The best way to protect yourself, your loved ones and the NHS this winter, is to get your flu and Covid vaccines. You can find more information and book them here.

If you take regular medication, please ensure that you have enough to last you over the bank holiday period or get your repeat prescription in advance. Similarly, if you receive care or treatment from a particular team, please contact them if you need support or advice.

Please regularly check in on vulnerable family, friends and neighbours who may need additional support throughout the colder weeks.

Keep warm by wearing additional appropriate layers for the colder weather and maintaining a warm home or accessing community ‘warm spaces’:

​​​​​​You can keep up to date with the weather forecast by checking the Met Office website.

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