January 28, 2023

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Do YOU ​​support the striking NHS ambulance workers? Vote here and tell us why…

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NHS paramedics and emergency call handlers returned to the picket lines today in an ongoing protest over pay.

Up to 25,000 paramedics will take part in the coordinated chaos that follows similar strikes that took place days before Christmas.

More strikes are on the way, with a new round of industrial action on January 23.

Users of the MailOnline app can vote in the poll by clicking here.

Today’s disruption was organized by the GMB and Unison unions, which have demanded the government cough up millions to pay workers more amid the cost-of-living crisis.

But ministers have so far refused to budge on their position, sparking anger among hardline union leaders.

It’s only offered 4 per cent, which equates to around £1,400.

However, there is hope that staff can get a bigger raise in the upcoming pay review. It could also be postponed until this month in an effort to appease strikers.

Unions claim that low wages are forcing staff to leave the healthcare system, exacerbating long-term staffing problems and worsening ambulance response times.

NHS data showed ambulances registering delays in transferring patients to emergency departments in the week to January 1. More than a quarter (18,720) had to queue for more than 60 minutes before turning their patients over to A&E (shown in graph)

Image shows average response times for category 1, 2, 3 and 4 calls to ambulance services across England (left), and right average response time for each call (red) compared to target response time (blue) for all Services

Image shows average response times for category 1, 2, 3 and 4 calls to ambulance services across England (left), and right average response time for each call (red) compared to target response time (blue) for all Services

Graphic shows average time for ambulance services across England to pick up 999 calls

Graphical representation of the average time it takes ambulance services across England to pick up 999 calls

Where are the ambulance strikes today?

GMB alerts affect:

  • Ambulance Services East Midlands
  • Northeast Ambulance Service
  • Northwest Ambulance Service
  • South Central Ambulance Service
  • Southeast Coast Ambulance Service
  • Southwest Ambulance Service
  • Welsh Ambulance Service
  • West Midlands Ambulance Services
  • The Yorkshire Ambulance Service

Unison’s takes place on:

  • London Ambulance Service
  • Northeast Ambulance Service
  • Northwest Ambulance Service
  • Southwest Ambulance Service
  • The Yorkshire Ambulance Service

The government is also facing industrial action from other staff groups, with more strikes planned by nurses later this month. Doctors in training are currently voting on their own strike vote.

It means that if the No. 10 concedes to one, it will be difficult to deny others a raise.

But there is also no denying that long waiting times for ambulances are becoming more and more common.

There are now countless heartbreaking stories of elderly Britons who have fallen and spent many hours waiting for paramedics, if any, to arrive.

Some families have even been forced to tie elderly relatives who have broken their hips to the lids of the garbage cans and take them to the ER themselves.

The latest NHS data shows that ambulance response times are more than double the target for some emergencies.

Ambulances took an average of 48 minutes and 8 seconds in November to respond to Category 2 calls, such as heart attacks, strokes, burns and epilepsy.

This is almost three times longer than the 18-minute average response time target set by the NHS.

The UK has been inundated with photos of ambulances queuing for emergency services from hospitals unable to unload patients due to space constraints, effectively trapping paramedics, leaving them unable to respond to other emergencies.

NHS data published last week shows nearly half of ambulances were experiencing delays outside hospitals of at least half an hour by the end of December. And a quarter had to deal with waiting times of more than an hour.

These transfers must take place within 15 minutes.

Some paramedics have even reported ending their shift in a transfer queue only to return to work the next day with the same patient in the back of the same ambulance.

Currently, there is no end in sight to the dispute with both unions and the government refusing to budge.

Further ambulance strikes are already planned, with Unison and fellow health union Unite planning another day of action for January 23.

GMB is not announcing any new strike dates yet, but likely will if a pay agreement cannot be reached.

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