Public thanked following day of strike action

Overtime ban by Unison and GMB continues until Oct 17th

NEAS would like to thank the public for their understanding and patience during this period of industrial action.

UNISON and GMB held ballots across the country, with members voting for a four hour strike on Monday (Oct 13).

Chief Operating officer for North East Ambulance Service, Paul Liversidge, said, "During the strike we took 217 calls and attended 150 incidents. 

"Some patients did experience delays but our contact centre clinicians were able to attend to all incidents where regular communications were needed with patients waiting.  Some callers were able to make their own way to hospital via other means.

"Our overriding focus was to provide high quality and safe service to patients and we took a number of steps to mitigate the consequences of the action this morning and we would like to thank the general public for their support in helping us to get to the most seriously ill and injured patients."

Action short of strike - a ban on overtime - will also take place from 00:01 on Tuesday, October 14, through to 23:59 on Friday, October 17.

This is a national dispute that cannot be resolved by the North East Ambulance Service.

It's imperative that during all of this this period, the public should only use the 999 number in a life-threatening emergency.

Chief Operating officer for North East Ambulance Service, Paul Liversidge, said, "We recognise the right of our staff to take this action, and understand that the decision is a difficult one for those who choose to take part.

"We thank the general public for their support in helping us to get to the most seriously ill and injured patients and ask that they call NHS111 and only call 999 for an ambulance in a genuine emergency so that we have ambulance crews free to respond to life threatening emergencies."

The overtime ban between Tuesday, October 14 and Friday, October 17, will affect Patient Transport Service further, particularly for those patients who will be discharged on the same day after 4pm.

NEAS has postponed training and non-essential meetings during the strike action to place qualified managers and appropriately trained support staff onto front-line duties where appropriate.

All NEAS staff will return to normal duties in the event of a major incident in the North East during this period.

 

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