AMBULANCES could take up to four hours to reach people while staff go on strike today (Monday).
Bosses from West Midlands Ambulance Service are warning people to expect long delays as workers walk-out between 7am and 11am on Monday (November 24) because of a dispute with the Government over pay.
Union members voted to take industrial action after the Government refused NHS staff a 1 per cent pay increase.
It follows a previous strike in October, but the level of disruption is expected to be considerably higher than before.
Less serious cases, such as fractures, stomach pains or elderly people have who have fallen and broken their hip, may have to wait up to four hours for an ambulance.
In cases which are not genuinely life-threatening, the decision could be made not to send an ambulance at all.
Although the trust has agreed on measures to preserve a service to patients most in need, chiefs are urging the public not to call 999 unless it is necessary.
Mark Gough, assistant chief ambulance officer, said: “There will be significant delays, people may have to wait up to four hours or there may not be an ambulance response at all for the minor and non-life-threatening calls that we receive.”
“For example, people who dial 999 and are unsure of what the problem is, people who dial 999 with a minor fracture such as a broken wrist or a sprain, non-severe blood loss, abdominal pain or generally feeling unwell. These are the types of 999 calls that may not receive a response immediately or at all.”