A NUMBER of public sector unions will be taking industrial action tomorrow (Wednesday November 30) as part of a national dispute over the government’s proposed reform of pensions.
The East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) has a comprehensive tried and tested contingency plan in place to ensure an emergency service is maintained and will provide a normal service as far as possible. To help EEAST ensure those patients in the greatest need get the treatment they require, the public is asked to only call 999 in a real emergency.
Alan Murray, Director of Service Delivery, said: “A considerable amount of contingency planning has taken place in preparation for Wednesday. As always we are urging the public to ring for an ambulance only in an emergency. If you are experiencing chest pains, have difficulty in breathing or someone is having a suspected stroke, please call for an ambulance immediately.
“If your condition can be treated by other NHS services then this will free up ambulances to get to someone who could be in a real life-threatening situation so please think before you dial 999. Our priority is to ensure we continue to answer emergency calls to those patients in the greatest need. Please only call 999 in an emergency.”
Remember, always call 999 if someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk, for example if they have:
* chest pain
* difficulty in breathing
* severe loss of blood
* severe burns or scalds
* fitting or concussion
* severe allergic reaction
* suspected stroke symptoms according to the FAST test: If they have facial weakness (difficulty smiling or drooping mouth or eye), arm weakness (difficulty raising arms, speech problems (difficulty speaking clearly and understanding others) then it’s time to call 999.
There are a raft of other more appropriate ways to get help, treatment and advice for non-urgent illness and accidents, for example:
– Your GP or practice nurse. You can call even when the surgery is closed and either be redirected to the GP out of hours service or given a number to contact them.
– NHS Direct on 0845 4647 will give you advice and information over the telephone 24/7
– Your local walk-in clinic, there is one in most major towns and cities, where no appointment is necessary.