Question Time: NHS worker outlines frustration over pay
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Ice lollies were handed out to staff – many in lighter scrubs – as they treated patients on sweltering wards.
NHS Providers, which represents hospital trusts, said their buildings are not built to cope with the conditions, with deputy chief executive Miriam Deakin saying: “Across the country hospitals are having to scale back the number of planned surgeries as operating theatres are too hot.
“Trusts are having to install industrial cooling units, mount fans and cool down IT server rooms.”
Patients were advised not to travel and non-urgent appointments were delayed or carried out remotely.
The London Ambulance Service said it handled 6,600 calls on Monday, more than the peak of 5,500 expected on the busiest days of the year.
To relieve the intense pressure on paramedics, St John Ambulance staff have been supplying an extra 138 ambulance crews across the country.
Comment by Matthew Taylor
A major incident was declared across the capital on the hottest day on record – and as emergency services battled wildfires and extreme heat, the sad truth is that with climate change the likelihood is these temperatures will become increasingly common.
With an ill-adapted public service infrastructure and a country not equipped for it to be this hot, the Government must sit up and take notice.
NHS leaders warn that without targeted support and adequate investment the summer risks being more difficult for the health service to navigate than winter.
A lack of capital investment over the last 10 years means we have very little resilience left to deal with crisis situations like this.
What we need from our political leaders right now is a proper acknowledgement of where the last 10 years of austerity have left the NHS. A reality check on the huge gulf between levels of demand and capacity.
We can only build a bridge to that future if we are honest about where we are now and what urgently needs to be done to get back on track.
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