The South West Ambulance Service has declared a ‘critical incident’ as the effects of today’s planned strike action is felt.

It means disruption results in ‘the organisation temporarily or permanently losing its ability to deliver critical services.’ 70 per cent of trusts throughout the country have also made declarations.

Trade unions representing NHS staff are in dispute with the Government over the 2022/23 pay award.

The NHS is asking patients to use services wisely during industrial action and take simple steps to help ensure care is available to patients who need it most.

Patients should continue to call 999 if anyone requires life-saving care with ambulance services prioritising the most clinically urgent cases. If it is not life-threatening you may have to wait longer than usual for an ambulance.

South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust has issued the following advice during industrial action by ambulance staff.

On days where there is strike action by ambulance staff, patients should only call 999 if it is a medical or mental health emergency (when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk).

Ambulances will still be able to respond in these situations, but this may only be where there is the most immediate risk to life.

The next planned ambulance strike will be on Wednesday December 28 and like today last for 24 hours.

You can find more information on the following websites: