The NHS is urging hospitals to clear sick beds before strikes begin
Britain’s top health officials on Friday urged hospitals to clear as many beds as possible by safely removing patients before ambulance crews go on strike.
British news agency BA Media said Sir David Sloman, chief operating officer of the NHS, had warned of “widespread disruption” during what he described as “a very difficult period”.
Ambulance crews in England are scheduled to start a two-day strike on December 21 and 28 to demand higher wages.
The agency quoted Sloman as saying, in a joint letter with the National Medical Director, Professor Stephen Boyce, and the chief nursing officer, Ruth May, to the health care funds and integrated care boards of the British National Health Service, that measures should also be put in place to ensure that patients are transported by ambulance in a period of no more than 15 minutes. .
NHS data on Thursday revealed that delays in moving patients by ambulance to hospitals in England reached a new high, with one in six patients last week waiting more than an hour to be passed to emergency reception and incident teams. Just over one in three had to wait at least 30 minutes, and those numbers are higher than ever in recent winters.