Ambulance industrial action Monday 23 January

NHS ambulance services in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire are working hard to keep people safe during the planned strikes, while delivering the best care possible.

On days where there is strike action, people 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). Less serious calls may not receive a response for the duration of the strike action.

Ambulances will still be able to respond in these situations, but this may only be where there is the most immediate risk to life. Ambulance service industrial action is due to take place on Monday 23 January, lasting 24 hours, and there is also a nurses’ strikes on 18 and 19 January which includes Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (AWP). More information can be found on the AWP website.

If you have an appointment, please continue to come forward for the care you need. Please don’t call to check if your appointment is going ahead. You will be contacted directly if your appointment needs to be rearranged.

Many parts of the NHS are likely to feel the impact of the industrial action, either directly or indirectly, and people are being urged to use ambulance services responsibly.

Please do not call back asking for an estimated time of arrival of an ambulance. This information cannot be provided and it blocks lines for other callers.

Where the situation is not life-threatening, alternative support will be available through NHS 111 online or through calling NHS 111, and where possible, it is advised that you arrange alternative transport.

The NHS is also asking the public to play their part by taking simple steps during industrial action to look after themselves, loved ones and checking in on vulnerable family members and neighbours.

People can help by taking sensible measures to keep themselves and others safe during this period by not ending up in A&E – such as drinking responsibly or stocking up on their medication.

When to dial 999

Call 999 for life-threatening emergencies such as:

  • Cardiac arrest
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Fits that aren’t stopping
  • Chest pain,
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Severe bleeding
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Suspected stroke
  • Serious head injuries.

More information about when to dial 999 is available on the NHS England website.

Other health and care services

  • GP services are operating as normal on days when there is strike action. Contact your GP if you have symptoms that will not go away.
  • Local pharmacies can help with a range of minor illnesses and ailments. See our winter wellness page on how to treat common winter illnesses.
  • Minor injury unit – attend your local minor injuries unit for urgent not life threatening conditions and injuries such as sprains, fractures and burns.

Discharge from hospital

Trusts are also asking relatives and carers to do everything they can to work with staff to get their loved ones home from hospital as soon as they are fit for discharge. If you have a loved one in hospital, please be ready to help them home as soon as they are well enough.

Information is also available via our Twitter channel.

South Western Ambulance Service latest industrial action information NHS England: Information for the public on industrial action