London Ambulances spent more than 500 hours waiting outside hospitals last week. Official figures show more than 1,000 ambulances had to wait more than 30 minutes before patients were taken inside to be treated.
Barbara Hakin, the national director of commissioning operations for NHS England urged patients to help ease the pressure on hospitals by going to their GPs, pharmacists and using the non-emergency 111 helpline, if their condition is not genuinely urgent.
Around three quarters of staff at the London Ambulance Service are expected to go on strike today between 7am and 11am.
The action is part of an an ongoing row over pay. Four weeks ago 77% of staff joined the picket line in protest at not receiving a recommended 1% pay rise.
LAS says contingency plans are in place to provide a service for London during strike action. The plans include support from the police and military personnel. Ambulances will only be sent to cases that most seriously need paramedic assistance.
If a major incident in London happens during strike action, staff have agreed to return to work.
Up to four ambulance workers are attacked each day in London, with physical assaults on paramedics and responders up 23% last year, according to Freedom of Information figures revealed in a new report.
'Paramedics in Peril' was authored by Roger Evans, a Conservative for the Greater London Authority.
The report calls for 100 trial cameras to be worn by London Ambulance crews and 100 on-vehicle devices. it comes after over 4,000 violent incidents were recorded between 2010 and 2013.
The trial would cost around £106,000,but campaigners argue that is less than the annual sick bill caused by injury.
Body cameras are currently being trialed by police forces across the UK, with Staffordshire Police have issued 550 of the devices to all operational officers including armed response teams as part of a programme to boost transparent policing.
- We expect the number of life-threatening calls over the winter period to go up from around 1,200 a day to 1,800 - these patients will be our priority
- Where clinically safe we will not be sending an ambulance to our lowest priority patients
- We will however continue to respond to all calls to patients under two years old and over 70
- This is something we already do at times of peak demand, for example, New Year's Eve when we need to prioritise our service for patients with life-threatening conditions
Patients who dial 999 with minor conditions during the winter months will not be sent an ambulance. The London Ambulance Service says lowest priority patients will be referred to other health providers, such as 111, their GP or local pharmacist.
London Ambulance Service said:
"We were called today just after 4pm to reports of a roadtraffic collision involving a lorry and cyclist at Camden High Street.
"We sent a number of staff including a single responder in a car, a duty officer, two ambulance crews and London Air Ambulance's medical team in a car to the scene.
Our staff treated one patient, an adult man for a minor head injury. He has been taken to St Mary’s Hospital by ambulance.”
A serious road collision involving several vehicles in City Road, Isington yesterday has left a number of people injured.
Police officers, London Ambulance, London's Air Ambulance and the Fire Brigade attended the scene, where a white Vauxhall Insignia hadcollided with a number of parked cars.
The driver of the Vauxhall, aged in his late 40s, and another man, believed to be aged around 40, who was in one of the parked cars, suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries. They remain at an east London hospital in stable conditions.
Road closures were put in place as a result of the incident and some still remain in place.
At this stage, officers believe the same vehicle was involved in minor collisions in Caledonian Road and Upper Street shortly before the collision in City Road.
240 frontline staff are to be employed by The London Ambulance Service thanks to additional funding.
The service will receive an extra £7.1 million this year to help improve levels of care to patients.
The London Ambulance Service has seen a 30 percent increase in calls to those who've slipped or tripped - because of ice.
They have put their staff on high alert to make sure they can cope with the extra pressure.
Martin Stew joined them for the afternoon.