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  • Writer's pictureUniversa Law

While Christmas lights are on, ambulances turn theirs’s off

It has been hard to miss the news that ambulance staff across most of England and Wales are set to go on strike next week on 21 December, and again on 28 December, in a dispute over pay. Whilst the coordinated walkout by the three main ambulance unions will affect non-life-threatening calls only, it could mean people who have had trips and falls, or who are not aware of the severity of their condition, not being responded to.

This comes on top of the existing stark warning issued by NHS Chief Executive Amanda Pritchard about the “very challenging winter” ahead. Sadly, as experts in clinical negligence cases, Universa Law has already seen a number of complaints related to ambulance waiting times that have unfortunately resulted in major delays and some additional injuries incurred to the patients. We believe the ambulance strikes are only going to exacerbate the problem…and to what extent is yet to be seen.

Many people might be wondering what the ambulance strikes mean for them, particularly in the winter when there is already an increase in medical emergencies and pressures on the health service.

It is unclear exactly what will happen during the days when ambulance crews go on strike. It is believed that the strikes have been staggered so there will always be ambulance crews working and the Army is on standby too. Whatever happens, both doctors and paramedics have the same duty of care for patients, and therefore, need to comply with national guidelines to ensure that appropriate care is delivered to each patient. Therefore, we hope suitable response times and treatment will be provided and people will not be left waiting for a day or two to receive medical help, which will inevitably result in serious problems all over the country.

While some reasonable ambulance delays sometimes might happen and could be justifiable, these cannot always be excused. If a delay in attending to a patient, bringing them to the hospital, and/or treating at the A&E does result in further injuries being incurred, then the standard of care must be questioned. As above, it is the NHS’s responsibility to attend to patients in emergency situations in a timely manner.

Examples of the ambulance strikes and delays resulting in substandard treatment could include, but not limited to, the following situations:

· Failure to properly triage the patient by call handler

· Failure by call handler to dispatch the ambulance crew

· Delay by paramedics in arriving at the patient’s location

· Failure by paramedics to attend and treat the patient in the situation

· Delay by paramedics to bring the patient to the hospital

· Failure by the hospital staff to properly triage the patient

· Failure by the hospital staff to properly assess the patient and provide necessary care in timely manner.

If you or someone you know has been in a similar situation, you might have a clinical negligence claim. You can contact our legal team for a free initial consultation with our experienced lawyers. We work on a No Win No Fee basis, which we believe is the most risk-free and stress-free way of making a claim as you never have to send a payment to us, win or lose.

Contact Universa Law to get your questions answered.

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