Plea to ‘save lives’ by only calling 999 in an emergency during ambulance strike

An ambulance chief has issued a plea to help “save the life of a Londoner” by only calling 999 in a “life or limb” threatening emergency during the paramedics’ strike on

Monday. Daniel Elkeles, Chief Executive of the London Ambulance Service (LAS), warned that anyone without a life-threatening condition was “unlikely to get an ambulance”

during the 12-hour walkout. Monday’s strike will involve thousands of call handlers, paramedics, drivers and technicians from the Unison, Unite and GMB unions. In London,

members of Unison will walk out from 11am with picket lines in Waterloo, Newham and Deptford. It is the third time that ambulance staff have walked out in five weeks in a

bitter dispute with ministers over pay and staffing. Talks between Health Secretary Steve Barclay and health unions collapsed earlier this month. Further strikes are planned

in the coming weeks by nurses and other NHS workers. Unions have stressed that Category One calls, including cardiac arrests, and serious Category Two calls for “life and

limb conditions” — including strokes, heart attacks and sepsis — will still be responded to during the strike on Monday. Ahead of a “challenging day” for the LAS, Mr

Elkeles issued a plea for Londoners to only contact the service if there is an imminent threat to life. He told the Standard: “By keeping 999 for emergencies, you could

help save the life of a Londoner who needs us.