Londoners asked to help ease pressure on their ambulance service
People who call London Ambulance Service with minor injuries or illnesses will not be sent an emergency ambulance as it tries to reach its most seriously ill and injured patients within eight minutes.
While the Service continues to prioritise its response to patients in life-threatening conditions, other people, with less serious injuries and illnesses, should call NHS 111 or make their own way to hospital.
Chief Executive Ann Radmore said: “Every year demand increases and now, in addition to this, there is a shortage of paramedics in the UK which is making it difficult for us to recruit. While we are taking steps to tackle these issues, we’re asking Londoners to help us and help ease the pressure on our front line staff.”
To help tackle the increasing demand and shortage of staff, the Service is taking steps including:
- a national and international recruitment campaign
- changing the way it responds to 999 calls
- and working with staff to see what more can be done to improve their working lives.
On average, the service receives over 35,000 emergency calls a week. From now on it will not send an emergency ambulance to 3,500 callers. After an initial clinical triage, these callers will either be referred to NHS 111 or given additional clinical advice over the phone by a paramedic. The Service is also reviewing the number of ambulance vehicles sent to each incident and is recruiting hundreds of extra frontline staff.