PEOPLE have been issued advice ahead of the ambulance strikes which are set to take place in the upcoming weeks.

West Midlands Ambulance Service has told residents only to call 999 in a medical or mental health emergency.

They class an emergency as if a person is critically unwell or there is a risk to life.

However, they are also urging people not to be worried about calling them on strike days because each call will still be triaged as normal.

A spokesperson for West Midlands Ambulance Service said: "If you're worried about calling us on a strike day, don't be.

"We're still taking your calls and will triage them as normal.

"We do have fewer ambulances responding today so it is important that you consider using the symptom checker on #NHS111 online, or speaking to a pharmacist."

Paramedics, emergency care assistants, call handlers and other staff will be striking on Monday, February 20, Monday, March 6 and Monday, March 20.

Thousands more ambulance workers voted to strike in the long-running dispute over pay and staffing.

Unison said the growing NHS dispute will now cover ambulance services and other NHS organisations across most parts of England.

Announcing re-ballot results of thousands more health workers, Unison said staff at another four English ambulance services and five NHS organisations, including NHS Blood and Transplant, will now be able to strike in a "significant escalation" of the dispute.

The union said ambulance staff at four services in England: South Central, East of England, West Midlands and East Midlands; had voted to take industrial action.

The 12,000 staff involved in the re-ballots can now take part in the ongoing dispute alongside their NHS colleagues at ambulance services in London, Yorkshire, the North East, North West and South West.

Since the dispute over pay and staffing began in December, staff at these service have taken strike action on four occasions.

Unison general secretary Christina McAnea said: “It’s time the Prime Minister ditched his do nothing strategy for dealing with escalating strikes across the NHS.

“Sadly, health workers across England have been met with a wall of silence from Number 10.

"The Prime Minister stubbornly refuses to talk about pay, preferring to subject everyone to many months of disruption."