The AA is giving additional support to NHS staff and the London Ambulance Service to minimise downtime and ensure patients can be helped as quickly as possible.

To help with this, 41 AA patrols have been sent to the 12 London Ambulance Service workshops to assist the workshop teams with additional mechanical support in keeping the more than 500 ambulances and 70 fast response cars on the road. 

The AA is also providing 24-hour breakdown and incident management services such as roadside assistance and vehicle recovery. This is free for all NHS staff, who can call a dedicated number if they break down. They can register at to get it.

It is supporting several other ambulance services across the country and is looking at other support schemes to help ambulance services do their work during the coronavirus pandemic. One such scheme includes a deal with Euro Car Parts where the parts supplier provides spares for the ambulance services at greatly reduced prices.

Garrett Emmerson, London Ambulance Service chief executive, said: “We are very grateful for the support of the AA as the country faces the biggest public health challenge in generations – one that is putting unprecedented strain on our Service. 

“Our staff and volunteers are working harder than ever to provide life-saving care to Londoners. This partnership will help our fleet and workshop teams make sure crews can get back out on the road and continue to reach those patients that need us most.” 

Edmund King, AA president, said: “We are proud to play our part supporting the vital ambulance services in London during this crisis. This is an unprecedented situation and we’ve all got to pull together to ease the pressure on our emergency services and the NHS. We would be delighted to offer a similar service to the other ambulance services across the UK. 

“We’re still here to keep key workers and members on the move, but urge motorists to heed government advice and only travel when it’s essential.”

Transport secretary Grant Shapps, said: “As we look to do everything possible to combat coronavirus, it’s crucial that we put provisions in place so our NHS workers can focus on giving life-saving treatment in hospitals. 

“Offering free breakdown service support will keep health workers moving and is a fantastic example of how organisations are pulling together during this crisis.”