Tag Archives: ambulance

NHS leaders making contingency plans as biggest walkout in its history looms | Sky News

At breaking point: the UK’s National Health Service.

Ambulance workers and nurses are both set to go on strike on 6 February – the first time they’ve taken industrial action simultaneously. There are fears it could pose a “significant challenge” for the NHS.

Saffron Cordery, the interim chief executive of NHS Providers, has said the proposed walkouts are a “huge concern”.

She said: “Trusts have been warning for months that coordinated strikes were a possibility if the government and unions failed to reach an early agreement on this year’s pay award.”

Ms Cordery urged ministers to “get round the table with the unions urgently to deal with the key issue of pay for this financial year, otherwise there is no light at the end of the tunnel”.

Source: NHS leaders making contingency plans as biggest walkout in its history looms | UK News | Sky News

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GMB ambulance workers announce four new strike dates

That Tory pose of refusing to talk about pay isn’t working at all, is it?

Here’s the GMB Union:

So that’s February 6 and 20 and March 6 and 20.

And let’s remember that, however these strikes end, ambulances still won’t be arriving with callers within the government-set time limits, because the government simply doesn’t provide the resources to make this possible.

Their argument that strikes are responsible for poor response times is a lie.

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Nurse leaves picket line to save lives; ex-Sun editor calls her ‘vile sh*tbag’

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Desperate Tory attack on nurses and paramedics suggests their privatisation plan is in jeopardy

The Conservatives are getting desperate and their attacks on the National Health Service are showing it.

They are relying increasingly on their ill-informed client journalists in the likes of the BBC and Sky News for stories alleging that people’s lives are being endangered.

So on the BBC website today (December 21) I see claims of “a baby struggling to breathe” being rushed to hospital by parents after an ambulance failed to arrive – but this happened before ambulance workers started their strike; it was a result of Tory NHS underfunding.

“Will we know if more people have died due to strikes” a BBC editorial asks, in a ridiculous bid to say striking nurses will be responsible. They won’t; the strikes have been structured to ensure that any life-threatening situation will have adequate nursing cover – or at least as much cover as may be provided by the Tory-impoverished health service.

Again, it is the government that will be to blame – not nurses.

But like the Nazis, the Tory government and its client media think that repeating a lie often enough will persuade the public to believe it.

That seems to be the reason a Sky reporter quoted Health Secretary Steve Barclay as saying ambulance drivers had made a conscious decision to put lives at risk, while interviewing GMB National Secretary Rachel Harrison.

And what happened? She dropped him right into his place in no uncertain terms:

The point about the 133,000-strong staff shortage is hugely important. The government is spending a fortune on agency workers, and they’re not enough. Higher pay and better conditions form a much better alternative.

And the GMB hasn’t even made a pay demand like that of the nurses; it simply wanted a reasonable rise now, with a promise to return to parity with 2010 levels in the future.

Public opinion remains firmly with the NHS workers:

The problem for the Tories is that they have an agenda: they need to undermine support for people working in the NHS to push forward their plan to privatise healthcare altogether.

That plan is now in jeopardy because they do not expect to win the next general election, in late 2024 or early 2025. A government led by any other party – even Keir Starmer’s Labour – is likely to fortify the health service, rather than undermining it further.

And if the Tories lose an election, it seems unlikely they will ever win another, judging by current demographics.

What does this mean?

I’d say it means the argument over who is responsible for the disintegration of health care in the UK is going to get a lot nastier.

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Ambulance workers are the latest set to go on strike

One of the UK’s biggest trade unions – UNISON – has announced ambulance workers intend to take strike action before Christmas.

Here are details from Sky News:

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Nurses are being balloted on strike action for the first time ever; ambulance crews are already coming out

A nurse: doesn’t this person deserve fair pay, after working to keep us all safe from Covid-19 for the last two years – and facing what could be a much worse period in the immediate future?

You can understand their reasons.

The government has had a stranglehold on nurses for years because their job is an act of care; if they go out on strike, people will suffer.

But people are suffering anyway because of the government’s insistence on starving nurses of pay that covers a basic standard of living (yes, really).

So you can understand why nurses are being balloted on strike action now – for the first time ever.

Here‘s the BBC:

The union is recommending its 300,000 members walk out over pay, with the result of the ballot due next month.

The government has urged nurses to “carefully consider” the impact on patients.

General secretary Pat Cullen told the BBC: “We’re not asking for the salaries of bankers or billionaires that seems to be the focus of this government.

“We’re just asking for a decent wage for our nursing staff so they can continue to do the brilliant job they do everyday for their patients, and so that we can absolutely retain the staff that we’ve got.”

She added: “They need to give them a decent wage so they can look after their families, pay their bills.”

Ambulance crews have already agreed on industrial action.

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Failure of NHS privatisation is proved by harm to patients kept waiting in ambulances

Waiting: ambulances outside a hospital. Strange how privatisation was supposed to improve healthcare but, since it was brought in, the NHS has only deteriorated.

A report for ambulance service chiefs shows that around 160,000 hospital patients in England are being harmed every year because of delays getting them out of ambulances.

As many as 12,000 – or one in 10, could be suffering severe harm like a cardiac arrest, loss of a limb or brain damage.

The ambulance drivers aren’t at fault.

The problem lies with the UK’s Conservative government that has de-funded the National Health Service to a critical degree, while also inviting profit-making private firms to provide some services – taking even more money from healthcare provision.

In a way, we should be grateful for the collapse of healthcare provision since 2010, under the Conservatives.

The delays that have kept patients waiting in ambulances – and thereby risking serious injury – have only become seriously harmful since the Tories brought private providers into the English health service.

They demonstrate more clearly than words that the introduction of those private providers into NHS England has been a disaster for patient care.

And they show that the best possible strategy for the future of healthcare in England is to ban private profit-grubbers from the NHS – forever. Otherwise this nightmare will only get worse.

Source: Ambulance delays outside hospitals are harming 160,000 patients, leaked report warns | The Independent

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NHS privatisation: paying profiteers means there’s no money for healthcare and patients are harmed

Recruitment difficulties for NHS ambulance trusts have meant private ambulances are being used, with untrained staff, leading to incidents in which patients have suffered serious harm.

This is what happens when you waste money that should be spent on healthcare, paying profit into private company bank accounts.

The cost of hiring private ambulances is draining funds that could be used elsewhere, while private firms are cutting corners and failing to provide the care that patients need, according to the Unison representative quoted in the report (below).

While ambulance trusts said they were struggling to recruit staff because each person has to have three years’ training, the Care Quality Commission found private ambulance services were employing staff who had no training at all.

It reported “evidence of incidents of serious harm to people from staff that had not been properly recruited and vetted”.

I would like to know what this evidence is, and how many patients suffered serious harm as a result of Tory healthcare privatisation.

I would like to know which Conservative MPs were directly responsible for inflicting this harm on people who are ill, or injured, and vulnerable.

And I would like to know what action may be taken to call them to account.

England’s ambulance trusts spent more than £92 million in the last year on private ambulances and taxis to transport patients, Press Association (PA) research found.

Some trusts said they rely on private ambulances due to a chronic shortage of NHS staff and ongoing problems with recruitment.

In some parts of the south, almost one in five emergency calls result in a private ambulance being sent to the scene.

Earlier this year, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) published a damning report warning that patients were being put at risk by private ambulances.

Source: Patients ‘at risk’ as NHS spends £92m on private ambulances and taxis | The Independent

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Tory-engineered NHS crisis is causing unnecessary deaths – and Theresa May boasts 

Read this, if you can stomach it:

An elderly woman who called 999 complaining of chest pains died while waiting almost four hours for her ambulance to arrive, while in a separate case another pensioner died following a seven-hour wait for a hospital bed.

On Tuesday, an 81-year-old Essex woman called 999 complaining of chest pains, but when paramedics arrived at her Clacton home and forced entry into the property they found the woman dead, according to the GMB union.

East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) said crews arrived three hours and 45 minutes after the initial call was made on Tuesday.

In a separate case, a Portsmouth hospital has vowed to investigate after an 88-year-old woman died following a seven-hour wait for a bed.

Josephine Smalley spent five hours in an ambulance and another two hours on a trolley in a corridor at Queen Alexandra Hospital.

She died on New Year’s Day, after having a heart attack and previously a stroke.

Now read this:

Image by MP Tracy Brabin of paitents on the floor in Pinderfields Hospital.

Pictures have emerged of patients lying on hospital floors as they wait to be treated – a situation branded ‘”deeply troubling” by an MP.

It comes as new NHS winter pressure figures revealed that nearly 2,000 patients have been kept waiting in the back of ambulances for more than half an hour outside the district’s A&E departments this winter.

Now Batley & Spen MP Tracy Brabin has released what she described as “shocking photographs of patients sleeping on floors” at Pinderfields Hospital over Christmas.

But a boss for the Wakefield hospital, used by many people from the Spen Valley, told the Telegraph & Argus the patients in the photos “may have chosen to lie down, as seats were provided.”

This Writer has to agree with MagsNews:

But what does Theresa May have to say? This:

It turns the stomach.

The Labour Party has it right with the following:

The Conservatives’ betrayal of the nation’s health is the shame of Britain.


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Sharp rise in ambulance patient deaths in England is all part of the Tory plan

Serious incidents resulting in the death of a patient rose from 31 in 2012 to 72 in 2016 [Image: Rui Vieira/PA].

The ambulance service is indeed under “excessive pressure” – but we all need to remember that this is not patient pressure, but pressure caused by Jeremy Hunt’s de-funding.

Mr Hunt is pushing the NHS towards privatisation and the way to do that, as Noam Chomsky has observed, is to de-fund the service so it starts to fail. When people complain, he can say that a publicly-funded health service doesn’t work and privatisation is the only way forward.

It is only after the service has been placed entirely in the hands of private companies that the public will realise privatised services are not better and do not receive more funds. Experience shows that money paid into such companies is drained out of them as profits, while investment dwindles.

Oh, and your services end up in the hands of foreign powers. Supporters of Brexit should pay particular attention to this, as they were fooled into voting for it in the belief that control would revert to the United Kingdom.

It won’t. Take a look at the privatised rail, water and energy companies.

The deaths of a few hundred people mean nothing to the Tories who are pushing these policies through – as those of use who have watched their behaviour towards benefit claimants and those on social care know very well.

A sharp rise in the number of patients dying unexpectedly while under the care of NHS ambulance staff has prompted warnings that the service is under “excessive pressure”.

NHS figures for England obtained under freedom of information (FoI) laws show “serious incidents” resulting in the death of a patient more than doubled from 31 in 2012 to 72 in 2016, rising year on year.

One trust noted that a serious incident meant a three-year-old asthma patient had died, and another death was logged as being caused by a delayed response linked to “no resources”. Deaths were also due to missed diagnoses and long delays, with one patient even taken to the wrong hospital.

Serious incidents are logged when the consequences for patients and staff are so significant they warrant investigations. The number of such reports that involved death, low, moderate or serious harm, injury and abuse rose sharply over the five-year period, almost doubling from 194 in 2012 to 376 last year.

Source: Alarm over sharp rise in ambulance patient deaths in England | Society | The Guardian


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