Public warned to only dial 999 in “life or limb” emergencies
The public have been urged to only call 999 for very serious or life-threatening emergencies as ambulance workers prepare for fresh strikes.
The Welsh Ambulance Service is set to stage a walkout on January 19 and 23 in a dispute over pay and working conditions.
It’s warned fewer ambulance crews will be available and they will only respond to life and limb emergencies.
It comes as four of Wales’s health boards report “extreme pressures” across their health and social care systems.
The Welsh Ambulance Service has said some non-emergency patient transport journeys will be cancelled as a result of the industrial action.
Mark Drakeford confirmed any pay offers would be “linked to the level of pay awards that are struck in England.”
He added: “That is why when we meet our trade union colleagues later this week, I’m not in a position to offer them a higher pay award that will build into their salaries and will go on building a platform for the future.
“But we have been able to find a sum of money that would enable us to make a one-off payment to our NHS staff before the end of this financial year.”
The First Minister has yet to confirm how much the pay award would be as negotiations are still taking place in a bid to stop further strikes.
The industrial action is likely to cause disruption to the NHS 111 telephone service as many clinicians and call handlers may be members of striking unions.
People have been advised to call 111 if it’s absolutely necessary.
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