GPs asked to cover paramedics during ambulance strike

16th December 2022 by NASGP

GPs asked to cover paramedics during ambulance strike

NHS England asked GPs to provide cover for ambulance staff who are taking strike action next week, GPonline reports.

Pulse has also reported on a letter by NHS England that asked clinical staff be released to support the London Ambulance Service during the Unison strike on 21 December.

In the ‘urgent request’ seen by Pulse and sent to GP practices, PCN leads and GP Federations, GPs as well as advanced paramedics or others with urgent care experience are being asked to cover two shifts on the day of strikes

The letter reads: “LAS have requested mutual aid on the 21st of December between the hours of 12pm – 12am in order to be able to minimise risk to patient safety on the day of the strike.”

In Scotland the ambulance strike has been called off thanks to negotiations.

Dr Richard Fieldhouse, NASGP chair, said: “The decision for any GP to respond to a request like this is down to personal choice, and is not for the faint -hearted. On the one hand, it’s clear from social media that many of us are in full support of paramedics, whereas on the other we fully empathise with any patients caught in the middle.

“We’ve all witnessed the expertise and training of paramedics first hand, so as well as having sympathy with their cause, also understand the risk of trying to do their work without their training and experience.

“No doubt there will be a knock-on effect on general practice, and many of us will feel more comfortable managing any extra demand from within primary care.”

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Dr Bo Su, GP

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