RISHI Sunak has summoned NHS chiefs for crisis talks today amid the worst ever waits for ambulance patients to be handed to A&E.
The PM called a rare Saturday summit to thrash out easing strains on the buckling NHS. Several hospitals have declared critical incidents.
Ambulance handover delay reached a new high last week as one in four patients waited more than an hour[/caption]
Rishi Sunak has summoned NHS chiefs for crisis talks[/caption]
Ambulances, A&Es and wards have become swamped, increasing wait times.
Meanwhile, patients braced for more chaos last night as Unite said ambulance crews will strike on January 23.
Last week 5,105 flu patients were in hospital beds — up 47 per cent on the week before. Covid cases have also jumped.
Ambulance handover delay reached a new high last week as one in four patients waited more than an hour to be given to emergency units, compared to ten per cent a year ago.
Four in ten waited at least half an hour, up from 23 per cent on 12 months ago.
The delays reveal the ongoing battle facing medics as they fight for space for those arriving at hospital.
An average of 12,809 beds were filled with patients who were ready to leave, up nearly a third on this time last year.
Tomorrow’s Downing Street meeting will be attended by Health Secretary Steve Barclay, Treasury minister John Glen, Cabinet Office minister Oliver Dowden and NHS England boss Amanda Pritchard.
The NHS Confederation said medics were working in “crisis conditions with inherent risks to patient safety”.
Tomorrow’s NHS Recovery Forum will discuss ideas to solve the delays in patients being discharged and other problems with emergency care.
Mr Sunak has admitted the NHS is under “enormous pressure” but said it is a priority.
Treasury warns pay rises will fuel inflation
Workers hoping for big wage bumps at the next public sector pay review are set to be disappointed as ministers warned that would simply spike inflation
The Treasury’s evidence sent to the independent boards for the 2023/24 settlement also showed private sector pay is only set to rise 3.5 per cent on average next year.
Projected private sector pay is usually the best indication of what the typical public sector worker will be awarded, with a Government source saying “it’s about fairness”.
The Government’s guidance also warned: “Higher pay awards could risk higher and more persistent inflation.
“This would in turn reduce real incomes and could push interest rates up even further, increasing borrowing costs for households and government, wiping out the limited headroom against the government’s fiscal rules, and potentially burdening future generations with higher debt.”