Use ‘common sense’ on dangerous activities during ambulance strike, says Health Secretary

Health Secretary Steve Barclay has urged the nation to use its “common sense” during today’s strike by ambulance staff as he suggested people should think twice before engaging in dangerous activities. 

Up to 25,000 ambulance workers across England and Wales – including paramedics, call handlers, drivers and technicians – are walking out as part of a long running dispute over pay, leaving services stretched. 

Today’s action is larger than the walkout in December and patients can expect waits for 999 and 111 calls to be answered while there will also be fewer ambulances on the road. 

Mr Barclay was asked this morning if he believed people should change their behaviour today and potentially avoid activities which could result in serious injury. 

He told Times Radio: “We are just saying to people use their common sense. I think people can see that today is going to be a very challenged day for the ambulance service, their focus will be in particular on those life threatening incidents and ensuring those are addressed. 

“But there will be strain on the rest of the system. So we are just saying to people use their common sense. Of course if it is genuinely life threatening then they should phone 999.”

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