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December 20, 2022

Latest message from North West Ambulance Service

Five North West Ambulance Service ambulances wait outside Royal Bolton Hospital's emergency department

In the North West Ambulance Service region, the GMB, Unison and Unite unions balloted their members for industrial action and met the legal threshold to take action.

They have now issued a formal notice for strike action for the following periods:

  • GMB: 21 and 28 December 00.01 to 23.59
  • Unite: 21 December 00.01 to 23.59
  • Unison: 999 road staff only 21 December 12:00 – 00.00

Following the announcement of industrial action, we have worked closely with our unions and staff to ensure that we are able to continue to deliver a response to the most serious emergencies for our patients and to agree an approach for the days when industrial actions is taking place.

This has focused on consideration to support colleagues’ right to take action in collaboration with potential impacts on patient care. The priority throughout has been balancing patient safety with the right to strike.

On the day of action, despite utilising some resources from external sources, the trust will be operating with reduced capacity. As much as we can, we will prioritise those with life-threatening conditions but it is important to acknowledge that ambulance waits are to be expected. Those with less serious conditions are likely to be asked to seek alternatives.

The assistance of the public is vital so for illness or injury which is not life-threatening, people should seek help and advice from their own GP, a pharmacist, or via NHS 111 Online or find other means of transport to an emergency care centre.

Further information is available to the public on the NHS website.

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