Industrial action at EMAS – update

Industrial action at EMAS – update

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Industrial Action took place at East Midlands Ambulance Service for a second time yesterday, following on from earlier action which took place on 21 December 2022.

The national pay dispute saw GMB members at EMAS take strike action over a 24-hour period, from 00.01 hours to 23.59 hours on Wednesday 11 January 2023.

During the strike period this week, emergency 999 call numbers reduced by around 20%.

We would like to take this opportunity thank everyone who has accessed NHS services wisely today to enable us to focus on responding to patients who need us most during this period of Industrial Action.

Ben Holdaway, EMAS Director of Operations, said: “We hugely appreciate members of the public for their on-going cooperation by seeking out the most appropriate service for their healthcare needs – whether that is through your pharmacy, your local GP, urgent treatment centre or using NHS 111 online.

“Wednesday was an immensely challenging day this week, however the regional plans drawn up at EMAS and the huge effort behind the scenes and across the wider NHS to minimise the impact of industrial action on patient safety was appreciated.

“Our approach was supported by the public who responded to the plea to use services wisely and to make their own way to a treatment centre or hospital if safe to do so. Again, given the ongoing pressures across the NHS, we are asking that they continue with these behaviours.

“This allows us to continue sending our limited numbers of available ambulances to patients whose lives are at immediate risk and who require the life-saving clinicians and equipment on board our vehicles.”

Ben added: “We are grateful to our colleagues both on and off the picket lines, and in the trade unions, for their professionalism and collaboration throughout industrial action, to ensure we could continue to respond to patients in need of an emergency response.

“The NHS remains open and we urge people to continue to access care when they need it and continue to support us by using NHS services wisely.”

“People should only call 999 of there is a risk to life, eg cardiac arrest, unconscious or catastrophic bleed, or if seriously ill or injured eg stoke or a serious traumatic injury. Ambulances will be sent to patients where clinically appropriate, eg where the life-saving equipment and skills of the clinicians on board are required.

“We will continue to work with trade union colleagues closely to keep patients safe in any future periods of industrial action and continue to fully respect the right of NHS staff to take lawful and peaceful action. However, we are urging national employer representatives and trade union colleagues to proactively engage and reach a negotiated settlement to the dispute as quickly as possible.”