Industrial action by two unions will be affecting our services on 6 and 7 February. Action in local hospitals may also have an impact on our services.
GMB – 6 February, 6am to 11.59pm
We have just over 230 GMB members, out of around 4,500 staff across all our services. Most GMB members work within our non-emergency patient transport service in Surrey and Sussex, but there may be some action in our 999 and 111 services.
We are working closely with our local and regional GMB representatives, to make sure essential services are maintained. The essential service GMB members will continue to provide (known as derogations), include:
- Patient Transport Services – non-emergency transport for patients such as dialysis, oncology, palliative care and hospital discharges and transfers.
- Ambulance crews – Patients suffering life- threatening/serious emergency situations which make up around 60% of our calls.
- 999/111 control centres – We do not expect this strike action to have a significant impact on staffing in our control centres. However, GMB has agreed that 75% of their members, who are due on shift on 6 February, will continue to work to support essential services within control centres.
Royal College of Nursing – 6 and 7 February, 6.30am to 8pm both days
There are around 125 RCN members in SCAS in a range of frontline and clinical support roles. Derogations are being agreed nationally with the RCN.
Strike day planning and co-ordination
On both days we will have a virtual control and command centre in place and extra staff in our control rooms and local hospitals where industrial action is taking place. This will help support our services and hospital colleagues; to ensure patients needing urgent and emergency care continue to get responsive and high-quality support.
Helping us care for those most in need
We continue to urge people to only call 999 in a life-threatening or serious emergency.
Patients who may require an ambulance, where it is not time-critical or serious, may face a longer wait than the national target times of two or three hours. We ask for your patience if this happens and to only call us back if the patient’s condition worsens.
Pharmacists, your local GP, urgent treatment centres, 111 online and the NHS App are all available and can advise on a range of minor illnesses and injuries, provide advice on managing symptoms and getting repeat prescriptions.