Fewer ambulances responded faster on the day of the strike in St Helens !
Full details aboutewer ambulances responded faster on the day of the strike in St Helens
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New data suggests NHS workers responded to emergencies faster on the day of the strike than they normally would.
In pursuit of a pay rise that meets inflation and concerns about burnout and patient safety, paramedics, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), and call handlers are on strike again today (Tuesday, January 24).
With GMB and Unison members joining the picket line at St Helens Ambulance Station, NHS data suggests ambulance response times had already improved on the previous strike day on Wednesday, 11 January.
The procedure for NHS staff was to send ambulances only for life-threatening injuries and illnesses, while asking the public to call 999 only in emergencies of this nature.
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ewer ambulances and faster response times
NHS data shows that less than half the usual number of ambulances arrived at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust on Wednesday, 11 January.
Twenty-seven ambulances were recorded arriving at hospitals across the borough, compared to 63 ambulances on a normal working day.
Although there was a strike day, only 22% of the 406 ambulances that arrived at the town’s hospitals were late by at least 30 minutes in the week ending January 15, down from 34% in the previous week.
It follows a national trend as 23% of ambulance patients in England waited at least 30 minutes to be delivered to A&E, down from 36% in the previous week and the lowest so far this winter.
On the day of the strike across hospitals in England, delays in ambulance deliveries improved with 6% of arrivals waiting more than an hour, compared to 9% during the rest of the week.
READ> The picket line outside the St Helens Ambulance Station during the strike
igures highlight NHS ‘down’
GMB National Secretary Rachel Harrison said: “This government has left our NHS so devastated that performance really improved on the day of the strike.
“GMB members agreed to safety levels with all the confidence of an ambulance – then dropped everything and left the picket lines to save lives.
Instead of praising them, this government demonized them and launched a new attack on workers’ rights.
“They are intimidating and playing political games – they need to talk about their pay now.”
More strikes planned
The government’s current offer to NHS workers is an average wage increase of 4.75% – well below current inflation levels of 10.5%.
As the demands were not met, the unions decided to organize further strikes of emergency services workers in the northwest onebruary 6 as well as on March 6 and 20.
Paramedics and EMTs will continue to attend the most critical 999 calls to ensure patient safety is maintained.
UNISON regional organizer Lizanne Devonport said: “Patient safety is paramount to UNISON members who are on strike, as they work every day.
“They will respond to emergency calls where there is a threat to life and limb and we have worked with NWAS to ensure systems are in place for calling workers from picket lines to do so.
“There will be fewer ambulances, for sure, but from previous strikes, we also know there will be far fewer calls to 999 requesting ambulances for transfer to A&E.
“There have been talks with the government – but talks won’t continue yet until it is backed by an offer of real pay for NHS staff. Until then, we’ll see more strike action.”