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Ambulance strike: NHS leaders urge public to avoid risky activity | Industrial action

by Ozva Admin
Ambulance strike: NHS leaders urge public to avoid risky activity | Industrial action

NHS leaders have urged the public to avoid risky activities on Wednesday for fear they will be left defenseless and unable to reach A&E during the ambulance strike.

The industrial action of the personnel in all England and Wales comes as the ongoing pay dispute between ministers and NHS workers looks set to escalate into an increasingly bitter and disruptive war of attrition that could last for months.

Health chiefs made the notable intervention of asking people to avoid getting drunk during the strike, four days before Christmas, as the possibility of disruption in the transport of people to hospital is very serious.

The two bodies representing hospitals and other NHS care providers in England staged a last-minute attempt to avert Wednesday’s strike by directly appealing to Rishi Sunak to intervene to end the standoff, warning him that otherwise, people will “suffer unnecessarily.”

Thousands of patients, including some with serious illnesses, will have to make their own way to hospital on Wednesday, often by taxi, because ambulance services are prioritizing those with life-threatening illnesses such as cardiac arrest or difficulty to breathe.

In a sign of how stretched services will be, the Yorkshire Ambulance service has told GPs they should advise patients to ask family members or carers to take them to A&E, because “the risks of a delayed transfer would outweigh the risks of transport without clinical supervision. It comes just one day after the nurses staged their second strike of the month.

In an unusually worded letter, the NHS Confederation and NHS providers told the prime minister of “deep concern among NHS leaders about the level of harm and risk that could befall patients tomorrow and beyond.”

They continued: “Seldom have we heard such strong and urgent expressions of concern from those who run our hospitals, ambulance services and other vital health services.

“The fear of NHS leaders is that the risk to patients will only get worse with future planned strikes. That is, unless his government is able to reach an agreement with the unions to quickly end the conflict.

“We urge you to do everything you can to reach an agreed solution, otherwise more members of the public will suffer needlessly,” they added.