Sheffield hospitals survive strike action

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SHEFFIELD’S hospitals have survived today’s mass walkout without major incident, redeploying non-striking staff to provide emergency cover.

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals - which runs the city’s five adult hospitals - had 10 theatres running today

Richard Parker, deputy chief operating officer, said: “Around 70 per cent of staff came into work today which enabled us to safely care for the patients who were already in hospital as well as providing emergency and clinically urgent care which included A&E, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and dialysis.

“We had not planned to carry out any non urgent operations today but a small number of emergency, or clinically urgent operations have been performed where it was safe to do so and where we had the appropriate skilled staff available. I would like to thank all those staff who enabled us to continue to provide these services today.”

Sheffield Children’s Hospital was largely unaffected by the strike.

Chief executive Simon Morritt said: “The trust had plans in place to deal with today’s industrial action and these plans have worked.

“Despite being busy due to seasonal pressures, we have been able to deliver emergency and essential services as planned.”

But ambulance response times were slowed as hundreds of emergency workers walked out on strike.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service focused their attentions on rushing to potentially life-threatening situations - but admitted it took ‘a little longer than normal to respond to these patients’.

YAS chief executive David Whiting assured members of the public his staff and volunteers were ‘working extremely hard to ensure we are able to provide emergency medical assistance for local people who call upon us for help’.

He said: “We have taken a number of steps to ensure we keep the level of disruption to patient care to a minimum while some staff are taking part in the national industrial action.

“However, to help us as much as possible I would urge members of the public only to call 999 for an ambulance in an emergency when it is obvious that someone has a serious or life-threatening illness or injury.

“We also ask that anyone requiring advice or treatment for a non-emergency situation or minor ailment considers options such as self-care, a visit to a local pharmacist, GP surgery or walk-in centre.”