‘Terrible stories’: British parademen lament the state of the NHS ahead of a major strike

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The NHS is poised to hold its biggest ever union strike next month as nurses and ambulance workers go on strike on February 6 amid a pay dispute with the government. In the first of a series of reports on the UK’s many crises, UKTN spoke to paramedics in London about their reasons for striking.

Steve has been driving an ambulance in London for 27 years. He said he felt there was no choice but to go on strike over issues such as staff shortages: “I didn’t come to this job to strike; I came to this job to take care of people. But with the lack of funding and the poor pay rises we’ve had, there are tens of thousands of vacancies across the NHS.’

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He complained about record delays for patients getting into hospitals, saying NHS staff are “getting horrible stories, horrible stories; patients lying on our trolley beds for 10-12 hours, which is not good enough.”

Steve’s colleague Abby joined the team at the height of the Covid pandemic and said the situation in the NHS has only worsened since then: “It’s tough, isn’t it? – if you know you have to wait hours and hours, your patient may deteriorate and there is nothing you can do to help them,” she said.

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Click on the video player above to watch UKTN’s report.

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