UK COVID Response Insight

ESF hosted Victoria’s emergency management sector to participate in a timely conversation with people from the London Ambulance Service (LAS) to understand their response to COVID-19.

As the only London-wide healthcare provider serving a growing population of over 8.6 million people, the London Ambulance Service faced more demand for their services than ever before – seeing some of their busiest days ever, with up to 11,000 people calling their 999 ambulance services a day and nearly four times the number of calls into their NHS 111 service.

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In facing the pandemic head on, the London Ambulance Service transformed its operational response, which saw the development of a new 999 centre dedicated to COVID-19 related calls, the launch of a ground-breaking partnership with the London Fire Brigade, seeing nearly 300 firefighters trained to help assist paramedics on the frontline, and over 900 volunteers stepping in to support at a time the Service needed it most. Kevin Bate, LAS Assistant Director of Operations talked through LAS’s response to COVID-19, and how the Service continues to maintain a high level of response, through bolstering their workforce and maintaining partnerships, as they prepare for a potential second peak in London.

Paramedic Frank Biggin spoke about the increased level of stress and anxiety faced by staff due to COVID-19 but said that the greatest thing was how everyone in the organisation came together to support one another. Katy and Jill from the LAS wellbeing team answer questions posed by Victorian wellbeing managers.

ESF regularly hosts thought leadership events to grow the collective wisdom and strength of the sector in relation to mental health and wellbeing.