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HMP Lewes: Ambulance crews rushed to East Sussex prison after ‘medical incident’ | UK News

Police are assisting ambulance crews dealing with a “chemical incident” at HMP Lewes with 10 to 15 people affected, according to reports.

An incident support van with the letters “CBRN” – which stands for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear – was spotted outside the prison on Thursday afternoon, The Argus reported.

A spokesperson for Sussex Poiice said: “Sussex Police are assisting the ambulance service following the report of a medical incident at HMP Lewes at around 12.30pm on Thursday (28 March). “

This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly.

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NHS: What do the latest figures show about treatment waiting lists, hospital beds, and ambulance wait times? | UK News

NHS England’s waiting list for elective treatment fell from 7.7m in October to 7.6m in November.

That’s the smallest it’s been since June, but still far larger than it was in November 2022 (7.2m).

Despite facing the most sustained industrial action in its history, the NHS has had a relatively good winter.

A mild flu season has helped keep demand for the health service relatively low, at least partially offsetting the impact of the strikes.

As of 7 January, just 2,271 beds were rendered unavailable due to seasonal winter illnesses.

That’s less than half the figure at this time last year (5,151).

As a result, hospitals have been unusually empty for this time of year, with 91.9% of beds occupied (compared to 93.8% at the same time last year).

With more capacity, hospitals have had more space to take on elective cases and cut waiting lists.

It has also reduced some of the pressures on A&E departments. Waiting times have fallen, though they still remain well above their pre-pandemic levels.

In December, 104,000 people waited more than four hours to be admitted to A&E after the decision had been made to admit them, or 27% of all admissions.

That’s down from a record 33% of admissions in 2022, but far higher than it was in 2018 (11%).

One in every 12 admissions this December (8%, or 44,000 people) were forced to wait over 12 hours. Such waits were almost unheard of before the pandemic, affecting just 284 patients in December 2018.

Similarly, ambulance response times are better than last year, but remain above target.

The average call-out for a heart attack or stroke took 46 minutes to arrive, down from 48 minutes in December 2022 but six minutes above target.

For 10% of calls, ambulances took an hour and 41 minutes.

Sarah Woolnough, chief executive of the health charity, the King’s Fund, said the figures showed the NHS was still not meeting the majority of its most important performance targets this winter.

“On some measures, the situation is better than this time last year, in part thanks to efforts to increase capacity as well as relatively low hospital admissions from COVID-19 and flu, but patients are still not receiving an acceptable level of service,” she said.

“Behind each of these figures is a person who is struggling to receive the timely care they need and deserve, despite the best efforts of staff.”

Read more from Sky News:
How NHS is ‘standing still’ to meet existing demand
Local NHS bodies on track to spend £4.9bn more than planned

Kate Seymour, head of advocacy at Macmillan Cancer Support, said that while the data showed a slight improvement on wait times, there were “still thousands of people in England facing agonising delays for vital cancer diagnosis and treatment”.

“Every day at Macmillan we hear how these unacceptable delays can cause needless anxiety and even result in a worse prognosis. People’s lives are being put at risk, and it’s simply not good enough,” she said.

Health and Social Care Secretary Victoria Atkins said the figures showed the progress “our fantastic NHS staff can make towards bringing waiting lists down when they don’t have to contend with industrial action”.

Health Secretary Victoria Atkins
Health Secretary Victoria Atkins. File pic

“November was the first month without industrial action for over a year, and we reduced the total waiting list by more than 95,000 – the biggest decrease since December 2010, outside of the pandemic,” she said.

“We want to put an end to damaging strikes once and for all, and if the BMA Junior Doctors Committee can demonstrate they have reasonable expectations, I will still sit down with them.”

Man in life-threatening condition after collision between ambulance and scooter in South Yorkshire | UK News

A man is in a life-threatening condition in hospital following a collision between an ambulance and a scooter in South Yorkshire.

Police received a call at around 10.25pm on Friday from a member of the public and another report from the Yorkshire Ambulance Service about the crash on the A628 Barnsley Road in Hoylandswaine.

The ambulance and been responding to an emergency call when it was involved in a collision with the scooter, which occurred at the junction near the Lord Nelson pub.

The incident occurred at a junction on Barnsley Road. Pic: Google
The incident occurred at a junction on Barnsley Road. Pic: Google

The scooter rider – a man in his 30s – was rushed to hospital where he currently remains in a life-threatening condition.

Officers are now appealing for witnesses with any information to come forward.

They would particularly like to speak to anyone on Barnsley Road at the time who may have seen the collision, or anyone driving along either of the two Barnsley Roads who may have caught the collision on a dash camera.

Police are also appealing to any premises that have CCTV cameras which cover the junction to check their footage and see if their cameras caught the collision.

‘Too little, too late’: Family reject ambulance service’s apology following review into failures and coverups | UK News

Ambulance bosses have apologised after staff were accused of covering up errors when patients died – but grieving families say this is “too little, too late”.

A review into allegations of failures at North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) found problems with how the trust responded to incidents, and highlighted “significant culture and behavioural issues”.

One of the cases highlighted concerned Quinn Evie Milburn-Beadle, a 17-year-old who was found hanging not far from her home in County Durham in 2018.

Quinn Evie Milburn-Beadle
Quinn Evie Milburn-Beadle

A NEAS paramedic declared her dead rather than trying to perform CPR. They have since been struck off, and the review found they had ignored national and local guidelines by not attempting advanced life support techniques.

“However small the probability of recovery was, [she] deserved that chance and so did her family,” the review led by retired hospital boss Dame Marianne Griffiths said.

It also noted that the trusts “coronial processes were not followed” as vital evidence for the coroner was withheld by NEAS.

Speaking to Sky News, Quinn’s parents David and Tracey Beadle described the report as a “whitewash” and “disappointing” – and called for a public inquiry.

Ms Beadle said: “It’s too little, too late. They’ve never apologised face to face to us, if they had held their hands up and admitted their failure and lying sooner then maybe I could accept the apology, but it’s gone too far for us now.

“We know there was a very very small chance that Quinn could have been saved that night, but to know not everything was done to help her, it keeps you awake at night.

“If that paramedic had kept her alive long enough to get her to hospital we could have all held her hand and said goodbye.

“I had to tell my son his little sister died on the phone, it was horrific. All of that could have been changed if he’d just done what he should have done.”

David and Tracey Beadle
David and Tracey Beadle

Another case involved the death of a 62-year-old man who urgently needed oxygen, with one crew hampered by a power cut that locked the gates at the ambulance station, and another unable initially to find his key safe to get into his home.

The chief executive of North East Ambulance Service, Helen Ray, told Sky News: “As a service, we let those families down at a point in time that they needed us and I’m deeply sorry for the distress that has caused them.

“An apology isn’t enough but this is an organisation that accepts that they’ve done something wrong, they’ve learned from it and they’re doing their very best to make sure that cannot reoccur.”

When asked about rebuilding trust with the people of the North East, Ms Ray said she’s confident the service is moving in the right direction.

“I understand the public will have concerns when they read this report, but we have learned from these situations from the four families and we have taken action. There may have been issues where people did not follow our systems and processes, when those are brought to our attention we act on those appropriately.”

Helen Ray
Helen Ray

The review, which was commissioned by then health secretary Sajid Javid in 2022, also looked into how the ambulance service dealt with whistleblowing following staff members raising concerns about practice within the trust.

Paul Calvert, one of the NEAS whistleblowers, says this report isn’t the full truth – and he alleges there are “dozens and dozens” more cases that are being covered up.

He told Sky News: “It doesn’t explain why information was held from the coroner in these four cases, because fundamentally it’s about dishonesty and the families deserve the truth. That’s what a proper judicial led public inquiry will give and deliver. This report delivers nothing but regurgitation of the facts that were already known.”

He added: “The trust has been a huge failure. It was obvious it was a failure when I joined in 2018. It’s a dysfunctional entity with extremely poor governance with a toxic bullying culture that fosters cover ups.”

Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email in the UK.

Full list of services affected as fire, police and ambulance ask public not to dial 999 | UK News

Emergency services across the country have asked people not to call 999 due to a technical problem.

The problems appear to be largely fixed – but here’s a list of who’s been affected and their latest published advice.

Which police forces have shared the alert?

• Metropolitan Police – now resolved
• South Wales Police – call 101 if 999 does not work
• Greater Manchester Police – call 999 and “please persevere” if connection takes a while
• West Midlands Police – call 101
• West Yorkshire Police – now resolved
• South Yorkshire Police – now resolved
• Kent Police – now resolved
• Derbyshire Police – now resolved
• Cumbria Police – now resolved
• Bedfordshire Police
• Essex Police – now resolved
• Northamptonshire Police – call 101
• Gwent Police – now resolved
• Devon and Cornwall Police – call 101
• Avon and Somerset Police – call 101 if 999 does not work
• Police Service Northern Ireland (PSNI) – call 101 if 999 does not work
• Thames Valley Police – now resolved
• Police Scotland – call 101 if 999 does not work
• Cleveland Police – now resolved
• Hampshire Police – now resolved
• Leicestershire Police – now resolved
• West Mercia Police – call 101
• Dyfed-Powys Police – call 101

Which fire and rescue services have shared the alert?

• South Wales Fire and Rescue – call 101 if 999 does not work
• North Wales Fire and Rescue – now resolved
• West Midlands Fire and Rescue – now resolved
• Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue
• Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue
• Scottish Fire and Rescue – call 01382 835804 (north); 0131 228 1367 (east); 01505 331661 (west)
• Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue
• South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue – call 0114 2727202 if 999 does not work
• London Fire Brigade – call 101 or 111 if 999 does not work
• Cleveland Fire Brigade – now resolved
• Lancashire Fire and Rescue – now resolved
• Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue – now resolved
• North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue – now resolved
• Kent Fire and Rescue – call 101 if 999 does not work
• Herts Fire and Rescue – now resolved
• Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue – call 01925713161 or 01925460821 if you can’t get through
• Cheshire Fire and Rescue – now resolved
• Cumbria Fire and Rescue – call 01925 713163 or 01925 460823
• West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue – now resolved
• Warwickshire Fire and Rescue – now resolved
• Norfolk Fire and Rescue – call 101 if 999 does not work
• East Sussex Fire and Rescue – call 01737 499006
• Surrey Fire and Rescue – call 01737 499050
• Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue – nor resolved but with reduced capacity
• Essex Fire and Rescue – call 01376 573403 if 999 does not work

Which ambulance services have shared the alert?

• London Ambulance Service – call 111
• North West Ambulance Service – call 111 if 999 does not work
• West Midlands Ambulance Service
• East England Ambulance Service
• North East England Ambulance Service – now resolved

Boy, 15, dies in crash with ambulance in Salford after police e-bike pursuit | Breaking News News

A 15-year-old boy riding an electric bike has died in a collision with an ambulance after being followed by police in Salford.

Greater Manchester Police said officers began following a boy riding an e-bike at around 2pm today on Fitzwarren Street.

Police were forced to break off their chase because of bollards on Lower Seedley Road.

Boy's death
Flowers were left at the site in tribute to the youngster

But in a statement, the force said a short time later the e-bike and an ambulance collided on Langworthy Road.

The police added: “The 15-year-old boy riding the e-bike sadly died.”

The boy collided with the ambulance on Langworth Road. Pic: Google Maps
The boy collided with an ambulance on Langworthy Road. Pic: Google Maps

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is now leading an investigation into what happened.

A cordon remains in place on Langworthy Road.

Greater Manchester Police said: “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the boy who tragically died.”

Thousands of ambulance workers go on strike today – as junior doctors announce when they will stage walkout | UK News

Thousands of ambulance workers are going on strike today in their ongoing dispute over pay and staffing.

The strike will involve more than 11,000 members of the GMB union in England and Wales, along with some members of the Unite union.

It comes as the number of health workers taking industrial action continues to grow, with junior doctors set to go on strike next month.

Speaking on behalf of ambulance workers, GMB national secretary Rachel Harrison said they will walk out “because this government is tin-eared”.

“It has been over a month since the government engaged in any meaningful dialogue,” she said.

“They are missing in action and refuse to talk pay.”

She added: “Solving the issue of pay is vital if we’re going to stem the tide of dedicated healthcare workers leaving the profession.”

GMB members

Junior doctors in the Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association (HCSA) have said they will strike in England on Wednesday 15 March.

Some 97.48% of members voted in favour of what will be the first strike in the union’s history.

HCSA president Dr Naru Narayanan said: “Junior doctors have held together patient care amid a spiralling staffing crisis.

“In return for this huge emotional, mental and physical toll they’ve been subjected to a decade of real-terms pay cuts totalling over 26%. Enough is enough.”

Read more:
Who is taking industrial action in 2023 and when?
Rising public support for unions, poll suggests

Around 45,000 junior doctors who are members of the British Medical Association (BMA) have also been balloted on strike action – with the result due at the end of February.

The BMA has warned it will stage a three-day strike if there is a “yes” vote.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “As part of a multi-year deal we agreed with the BMA, junior doctors’ pay has increased by a cumulative 8.2% since 2019/20.

“We also introduced a higher pay band for the most experienced staff and increased rates for night shifts.”

Steve Barclay  leaves after attending a cabinet meeting in Downing Street
Steve Barclay said ‘it is time unions engaged constructively’. Pic: AP

Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said: “Strikes are in nobody’s best interests and only cause further disruption for patients, despite contingency measures in place.

“It is time unions engaged constructively with the pay review body process for 2023/24 and cancelled strikes so we can move forward and continue tackling the COVID-19 backlog.

“I’ve been clear throughout that I remain keen to keep talking to unions about what is fair and affordable for the coming financial year, as well as wider concerns around conditions and workload so we can make the NHS a better place to work.”

Nurses will continue their action with a 48-hour strike starting on 1 March, with the Royal College of Nursing saying it has received £250,000 in public donations since starting its campaign in December.

RCN general secretary Pat Cullen said: “There isn’t a person in this country whose life hasn’t been impacted by a nurse and that’s why the public are with us every step of the way.”

East of England ambulance workers vote to strike | UK News

Almost 1,000 East of England ambulance workers have voted to strike in a dispute over pay and staffing, the GMB union says.

Paramedics, emergency medical technicians, call handlers and other staff are set to walk out in the region.

The union said its members voted by an 86% majority for industrial action.

The East of England Ambulance Service (EEAS) is the only service not to have been on strike in the latest wave of action.

Workers across the ambulance service have voted to strike over a pay dispute with the government.

The GMB union will meet with representatives in the coming days to discuss potential strike dates for the EEAS workers.

The union said its members are determined to campaign for better pay and are “furious” over the government’s “apparent attempts to smear” them over life and limb cover on strike days.

GMB organiser Lola McEvoy said: “East of England was the only ambulance trust in the country not to have been on strike – that will now change.

“As industrial action spreads to all corners of England, the Scottish and Welsh Governments have begun constructive talks with the GMB and seen walkouts suspended.

“Ministers in England don’t seem to want to listen, leaving NHS workers and the English public being treated like second-class citizens.

“It’s simple – talk pay now and make a decent offer for this year. Our members and the public are waiting.”

Read more:
Strikes: Who is taking industrial action in 2023 and when?

Ambulance workers across large parts of England and Wales have taken strike action in recent weeks and another walkout is planned on Friday by members of Unison.

It comes after nurses continued with their industrial action today after walking out on Monday alongside paramedics and call handlers in what was the largest strike in NHS history.

Meanwhile, more than 100,000 civil servants are to strike on budget day in an escalation of a dispute over pay, pensions and job security.

The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union has announced a new strike date of 15 March, when Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is due to unveil his spring budget.

It follows a strike last week that saw hundreds of thousands of members in 123 government departments walk out across England, Scotland and Wales.

Ambulance strikes: Grant Shapps concerned walk-outs ‘will put lives at risk’ | Politics News

Grant Shapps has said he is concerned ambulance strikes tomorrow will put lives at risk.

The business secretary criticised ambulance unions for failing to provide details of where they will be striking to the government so they can ensure the Army can cover them.

As part of the biggest day of NHS industrial action ever, ambulance crews and call handlers will join nurses across England in a coordinated walkout for the first time on 6 February.

Read more: Who is taking industrial action in 2023 and when?

Mr Shapps praised the nurses’ union for telling the government where they are striking and for ensuring emergency cover is in place but said ambulance unions have not done the same.

Asked if lives will be put at risk, he told Sky News’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme: “I am concerned that it does, if you have a situation which has been happening so far where you don’t have co-operation between the back-up services – typically the Army – and the people who are striking.

“We have seen the situation where the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) very responsibly, before the strikes, told the NHS ‘This is where we are going to be striking’ and they are able to put the emergency cover in place.

“Unfortunately we have been seeing a situation with the ambulance unions where they refuse to provide that information.

“That leaves the army, who are driving the back-ups here, in a very difficult position – a postcode lottery when it comes to having a heart attack or a stroke when there is a strike on.

“We cannot have that situation. That is why I am introducing laws for minimum safety levels.”

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‘Who caused the economic chaos?’ – Wrack

Minimum safety levels bill

Last month, Mr Shapps introduced the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill to parliament which, if passed, would make it a legal requirement for key services to have a set amount of cover when they strike.

Unions and workers who did not comply would face being sued or dismissed.

Currently, police officers, members of the armed forces and some prison officers are prohibited from striking.

This new law would cover those working in health, fire and rescue, education, transport, border security, decommissioning of nuclear installations and management of radioactive waste and spent fuel.

‘Rishi Sunak can make big decisions now’

Mr Shapps’ latest concern about ambulance strikes came as the head of the nurses union issued a direct appeal to Rishi Sunak to intervene in their pay dispute.

In a last-minute bid to avert tomorrow’s strikes for nurses, RCN general secretary Pat Cullen said a “meaningful” pay offer from the government could do just that.

Pat Cullen (centre) joins RCN members on the picket line
Pat Cullen (centre) joins RCN members on the picket line

In a letter to the PM, she drew a comparison to the sacking of Conservative Party chairman Nadhim Zahawi, after he was found to have breached the ministerial code in relation to his tax affairs.

“Big decisions can be made by you at any point in the week in the interests of good government,” she said, urging Mr Sunak to show his government is on the side of the “hardworking, decent taxpayer”.

“There could be no simpler way to demonstrate this commitment than bringing the nurses’ strike to a swift close.”

When are the NHS strikes this week?

Nurses will strike on 6 and 7 February as they call for better conditions and a pay rise. They want 5% above RPI inflation – but have said they would accept around 10%.

Ambulance workers will join nurses for the first day and walk out again on 10 February in a call for an inflation-matching pay rise and better conditions.

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The RCN and other NHS unions called off strikes in Wales this week after receiving a new pay offer from the Welsh government, while negotiations in Scotland are ongoing.

Health Secretary Steve Barclay called the industrial action “regrettable” and despite contingency plans, said that the strikes will “undoubtedly have an impact on patients and cause delays to NHS services”.

Ambulance workers expected to announce further strike dates, Sky News understands | Politics News

The GMB union is expected to announce further ambulance worker strike dates this Wednesday, Sky News understands.

Members held a meeting that lasted more than two hours on Monday following a long-running dispute over pay, jobs and conditions.

They will announce the outcome of today’s ambulance committee meeting at 1pm on Wednesday, Sky News can reveal.

Up to six more dates are being discussed after talks with Health Secretary Steve Barclay last week broke down.

Lib Whitfield, from GMB, said: “There’s a huge amount of anger from our members working in the ambulance service and from the representatives that Steve Barclay is not taking this seriously.

“Our members are saving lives day in, day out, and that is actually at risk because of the cuts they’ve made to the service. Our members will not back down in this fight and they need Steve Barclay to actually take them seriously.”

GMB members at the meeting were said to be “very angry”, especially over the anti-strikes bill being debated in parliament today, which will mean key industries will have to legally ensure minimum service levels during walk-outs.

Last Wednesday, about 25,000 ambulance workers across England and Wales went on strike.

Staggered walkouts by paramedics, call handlers, drivers and technicians from the Unison and GMB unions took place over a 24-hour period.

NHS England figures released last week show average ambulance response times in England last month were the longest on record.

In December, the average response time for ambulances dealing with the most urgent incidents – defined as calls from people with life-threatening illnesses or injuries – was 10 minutes and 57 seconds. The target is seven minutes.