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Ambulance Service Strikes

I​nformation and advice for for TEC Monitoring Centres


L​ast updated: 11th January 2023


As you may be aware, GMB, Unison and Unite have recently announced industrial action by ambulance workers across England and Wales on multiple occasions.

We know TEC Services will already be preparing for winter pressures, implementing pre-existing mitigation plans for Covid, influenza etc. However, should these strikes take place, it will undoubtedly be highly disruptive to TEC Services and Service Users despite these plans being in place.

The NHS has publicly relayed that low-priority calls will be affected. This is likely to include level 1 and level 2 falls and steps should be taken to find alternative appropriate pathways to respond to these incidents before they escalate into an emergency event.

Following the strike days, TEC services should be prepared for a knock-on effect and a continuation of a NHS disruption particularly with Hospital and Ambulance services. It is inevitable that there will be delays to callouts for falls, and that there will be a knock-on effect in the immediate days following the strikes because of these delays.

The government and the NHS are attempting to put measures in place to mitigate as high a proportion of risk as possible. This includes mobilising the Army and St John’s Ambulance to attend calls, and increased vetting of patients by utilising more in-depth triage scripts for call handlers. However, it is uncertain at this stage how effective these measures will be. We are therefore urging all TEC Services and Urgent Care Responder teams to prepare as a matter of priority.


What should you do to prepare?


TEC Monitoring Centres:

  • Advice your Corporate Clients/Commissioners of the strike action and the impact on the TEC Sector.
  • Communicate with Service Users to ensure records and contacts lists are accurate and up to date.Include where possible an appropriate contact that can provide a ‘physical response’. (Where no TEC response service is available).
  • Ensure other ‘informal networks’ e.g. Care Agencies are able to respond if no other physical response service is available.
  • Service Users may need to consider finding their own/alternative transport to NHS services for low level incidents.
  • Ensure sufficient admin staff are available to update records of Service Users.
  • Utilise the NHS UCR services where these pathways are currently established.
  • Utilise current TEC Responder services. Enhance or expand this service if possible, during strike days. (Engage with Commissioners)


Where providing services for Sheltered Schemes/Independent Living Schemes: –

  • Increase staffing levels and availability on the days of strikes (24 hours) and in the following days post strikes.Staff should be available to assist with physical response, arranging transport to NHS services, and reassurance.


Consult with your Local Authority’s Disaster Response Plan

  • Reach out to your Local Authority to ensure you are part of the Disaster Response Plan (where applicable).
  • Ensure a co-ordinated approach alongside your Local Authority to locate further services that may assist on strike days e.g. voluntary sector.


For QSF certified organisations:

  • The TSA Decision Support Tool enables QSF certified services access to information for call handlers to appropriately triage calls using NHS Urgent Community Response Services.
  • Ensure that you are registered on NHS Service Finder
  • Ensure you are up to date with the information located on the TEC Quality Decision Support Tool page (accessible to those who have attended our training webinars)
  • Sign up to our extra training webinar on the Decision Support Tool on Thursday 5 January 2023


We understand that this is going to be a very difficult time and will endeavour to keep you as up to date as possible in the leadup to - and during – any strike action on this page of our website. Our out of hours phone line will be open throughout this period, with messages checked regularly – contact us on 01625 520 320 if you need support and a member of our team will get back to you as soon as possible. A dedicated section on Winter Resilience with various resources can be found on our website here.

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