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Emergency Cover During Ambulance Strike

Friday, January 9, 2015

GMB Meeting To Assess Emergency Cover During Ambulance Strike On 29/30 Jan As New Figures Show A&E Departments Fail To Meet Targets

Both lay and full time officers are currently assessing the emergency cover that will be provided during the stoppage for the nearly two thirds of calls to the 999 service that are not classified as Red says GMB.

GMB, the union for NHS and ambulance staff, commented on new weekly figures which show that A&E departments fail to hit targets in week ending 4th Jan 2015. See notes to editors for copy on story on Press Association.

Last month GMB announced that members in the ambulance service in England and Northern Ireland are considering a 48 hour continuous strike at end January as part of an escalation of strike action with other health unions in the pay dispute in the NHS.

The two day stoppage by GMB members in the ambulance service, should it go ahead, will commence at 12 noon on January 29th and will continue until 12 noon on 31st January.

The joint health unions have announced further strike action for Thursday 29 January 2015. This will be a 12 hour stoppage from 9am -9pm in NHS (Hospitals). This will be followed in February with a 24 hour stoppage on Wed 25th February 2015, time to be confirmed.

GMB will issue the necessary formal notices to all NHS employers including ambulance services in the coming weeks.

GMB members took part in the strike action in the NHS across England & Northern Ireland on 13th October and 24th November to demand that the Secretary of State for Health stops burying his head in Whitehall and meet with GMB and all health unions to resolve the dispute.

The four-hour stoppages were followed by action short of a strike with an overtime ban in the ambulance service and other NHS employees working to their contracted hours.

GMB conducted an official ballot of members in the NHS in England and Northern Ireland. There was overwhelming support for industrial action to secure a better offer. The pay offer for NHS staff in England and Northern Ireland is an unconsolidated 1% pay award in 2014, restricted to staff not eligible for incremental progression and the same approach in 2015. This goes against the recommendation of the independent NHS Pay Review Body for a 1% consolidated pay rise for all staff.

Rehana Azam said "The situation is getting worse and our members in A&E departments and the ambulance service are doing a sterling job coping with the almost impossible demands being placed on them.

Jeremy Hunt has praised staff for their efforts but he should put his money where his mouth is and honour their recommended pay award. That is what staff deserve. It is essential he does this very soon to avert further strike action later this month including a 48 hour walkout in the ambulance service on 29 and 30 January.

GMB officials dealing with the ambulance service are currently assessing the emergency cover that will be provided during the stoppage for the nearly two thirds of calls to the 999 service that are not classified as Red. "


Contact: Rehana Azam, GMB National Officer on 07841 181656 or GMB Regional Officers:

Birmingham & West Midands Pauline Hinks on 07809 617 761, London & East of England Tony Hughes on 07738 958 142 or Steve Sweeney on 07703 469403, East Midlands, Les Dobbs on 07966 327 967, North East and Cumbria, Chris Jukes on 07870 176 733, North West, Lisa Ryan 07703 468 968 or Maria Almond 07718 113110, Northern Ireland, Michael Mulholland on 07974 018 413, South East, Nick Day on 07717 510 047, Wales & South West, Paul Gage on 07980 753 117 and Yorkshire, Joan Keane on 07958 156841 or GMB Press Office: 07921 289880 or 07974 251823.

Notes to editor.

Copy on Press Association on the story:

A&E departments fail to hit targets

09 Jan 2015 - 12:38

By David Hughes, Press Association Political Correspondent

Accident and emergency units in England saw 86.7% of patients within four hours in the week ending January 4, failing to meet the 95% target.

The first set of weekly figures issued this year show that for "type 1" major A&E departments, just 79.8% of patients were dealt with within four hours.

Labour claimed the figures showed it was the "worst week the NHS has experienced in living memory".

The latest NHS England figures follow the quarterly statistics for the last three months of 2014 which showed that 92.6% of patients were seen within the four-hour target, the worst performance for a decade.

Some 407,239 patients attended A&E in the week to January 4, up by 5.1 % or almost 20,000 attendances on the same week 12 months ago, and an increase of almost 4,000 on the previous week.

The percentage of patients waiting four hours or less from arrival to admission, transfer or discharge was 86.7% - down from 90.5% in the previous week and 94.3% in the same week last year.

The NHS has also been stretched by high levels of influenza this winter, officials said.

Dr Sarah Pinto-Duschinsky, director of operations and delivery for NHS England, said: "The NHS continues to face unprecedented pressures on its frontline services - with almost 20,000 more A&E attendances than last year - and more than 105,000 people admitted to hospital which is one of the highest figures on record.

"The extra £700 million invested has bought 700 more doctors, 4,500 more nurses, creating over 5,000 more beds.

"Flu is now at its highest peak for the last three winters which is one of the reasons why over the New Year holiday we continued to treat more patients than ever before.

"This means the NHS will continue to be under pressure for the next few weeks. Even at this stage of the winter it is still worth people getting their flu jab if they have not done so, and get advice from their pharmacist for colds, coughs and minor conditions."


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