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'Mad Friday' Chaos For A&E Staff

Tuesday, January 3, 2017


Notorious binge on last working day before Christmas could cause creaking service to collapse.

Infamous ‘Mad Friday’ revelry could today push already overstretched A&Es to breaking point, warns GMB.

The last Friday before Christmas is notoriously chaotic as people celebrate the end of the working year.

But the revelry results in one of the busiest days for accident and emergency departments and ambulance staff – already chronically underpaid and under-funded.

Many NHS workers’ salaries have increased by just 3% since 2010 after the Government froze pay and Jeremy Hunt refused a 1% increase in 2010.

This means that a staff nurse is paid £2,795 less this year than they would if wages had been allowed to rise with inflation.

They face a further £3,788 loss of real wages by 2020 if the Government’s pay cap is not lifted.

New analysis by the GMB reveals a shocking increase in ‘near-misses’ as staff are forced to do more with less.

And almost a fifth of NHS 999 ambulance control staff said they were not able to deliver the quality of care they aspired to, a staggering 15% increase compared to 2010.

Up to 41% of ambulance staff said they had seen near-misses or incidents in the past 12 months that could have harmed patients, up 24% since 2010.

Rehana Azam, GMB National Secretary, said:

“Unfortunately today’s Christmas cheer will place enormous strains on the NHS.

“Overstretched staff will give everything they have to keep members of the public safe, but they are being subjected to a Scrooge-like treatment by the Government.

“Employees have seen miserly changes to their pay since 2010, and they face yet more cuts to their standard of living.

“Meanwhile, the multi-billion pound black hole in the NHS’s finances gets ever wider.

“These shocking figures show that the Government’s policy is harming patient safety and pushing the NHS to breaking point.

“Enough is enough – it’s time for Ministers to show some goodwill, award real fair pay for all staff and properly fund the NHS.”


Notes for editors

Contact: Rehana Azam on 07841 181656 or at

• Selected NHS staff satisfaction rates by grade, taken from the NHS Staff Survey 2010 and 2015, (figures may not tally due to rounding):



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