As more than 10 000 ambulance workers vote to strike in England and Wales, there are concerns about the consequences:
Ambulance response times will be “incredibly stretched” when thousands of 999 call handlers, paramedics and other staff go on strike, an NHS leader has said.
Saffron Cordery, interim chief executive of NHS Providers, said NHS trusts would do all they could to mitigate risks to patients but the health service was already experiencing a challenging time.
Unison announced on Tuesday that thousands of 999 call handlers, ambulance technicians, paramedics and their colleagues working for ambulance services in the North East, North West, London, Yorkshire, and the South West are set to strike, probably before Christmas.
Figures show that ambulance trusts in England repeatedly miss targets for reaching patients in an emergency.
The average response time in September for the most urgent incidents, defined as calls from people with life-threatening illnesses or injuries, was 9 minutes and 19 seconds, against a 7-minute target.https://www.medscape.co.uk/viewarticle/ambulance-services-will-be-incredibly-stretched-during-2022a100279q
The Health Secretary for England’s repsonse:
The health secretary, Steve Barclay, said: “I’m hugely grateful for the hard work and dedication of NHS staff and deeply regret some will be taking industrial action – which is in nobody’s best interests as we approach a challenging winter.
“Our economic circumstances mean unions’ demands are not affordable – each additional 1% pay rise for all staff on the Agenda for Change contract would cost around £700m a year.”https://www.theguardian.com/society/2022/nov/30/ambulance-workers-vote-strike-england-wales
We’ve been told many times that A&E delays cost lives.
What has the Scottish Health Secretary, Humza Yousaf, achieved by keeping at it?
In Scotland, Unison is recommending that its NHS members vote to accept the latest offer from the Scottish government, which will see a £2,205 increase for the lowest-paid staff, and more for those on higher bands.https://www.theguardian.com/society/2022/nov/29/ambulance-workers-across-england-to-strike-before-christmas
Media coverage of the Scottish Health Secretary getting on with his day job unlike the one in Westminster?
STV yes, BBC Scotland no. Press? A few.