NEAS services affected by strike action

National dispute over pay set to affect our services

Staff are set to strike next week over a national dispute with the Government over pay.

Nationally, Trades Unions are in dispute over the Government’s proposal not to implement previously agreed pay rises.

As a result, UNISON, GMB and UNITE have confirmed a period of strike action for Monday, 24th November, between 7am and 11am, followed by action short of strike by UNISON members running until 30th November.

This is a national dispute that cannot be resolved by the trust but our overriding statutory obligation is to provide high quality and safe services to patients during the action.

We are taking all reasonable steps to mitigate the consequences of this action, and we are talking with the unions to ensure that the impact of their action is minimised on our emergency care, patient transport and contact centre (999 and NHS111) services.

Nevertheless, the action will have a disruptive impact on the care of patients and delivery of services we provide.

Firstly, we expect the strike action to have a considerable impact on our ability to respond to emergency calls with exemptions only given to potentially life-threatening (red) calls only.

This means we will not be able to respond to less serious green calls, nor provide a service for GP practices requesting urgent transport between 7am and 11am on Monday, 24th November 2014.

We will be advising patients contacting us on the 999 number of the alternatives available to them and only to use the 999 number in a life-threatening emergency.

The action will also affect our contact centre, in our ability to answer calls, dispatch ambulance resources and staffing our clinical hub to advise patients who have a wait for a delayed ambulance.

Even after the four hour period of action is over, there will be pressure on this department throughout the day as we work to clear a backlog of low acuity 999 and urgent cases and routine appointment journeys.

Our PTS service will also be significantly affected.

We are still planning to run an essential patient delivery service for people with life-threatened conditions, such as dialysis, oncology, palliative care and other high-dependency cases between 7am and noon.

We expect the PTS service to resume normal business after noon.

Action short of a strike may further compromise our service for the remainder of the week.

We will keep you updated with the developments and welcome your feedback to the e-mail address industrialaction@neas.nhs.uk

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