Due to ambulance delays, patients are being asked to drive themselves to the hospital.
People suffering from heart attacks and strokes have been asked to make their own way to the hospital due to long ambulance response times and staff absences.
The Health Service Journal (HSJ) reported that emergency callers in England have been told that they will not be picked up at one ambulance trust.
If a delay appeared likely, call handlers at North East Ambulance Service Foundation Trust were instructed to “consider asking the patient to be transported by friends or family,” according to an internal memo.
This included calls classified as category two, such as possible heart attacks and strokes.
Dr. Mathew Beattie, the trust’s medical director, told the HSJ that Covid-related staff absences had increased by 80% in the previous six days.
Due to the same issue, hospital administrators in Greater Manchester have decided to postpone some non-urgent surgery and appointments.
According to the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, about 15% of the region’s workforce is either sick with Covid or isolated.
Patients with cancer and those in urgent care, such as those scheduled for cardiac surgery, vascular surgery, or transplantation, will be unaffected.
“This has been a very difficult decision and not one that we have taken lightly,” Fiona Noden, chief executive of Bolton NHS Foundation Trust and co-chair of Greater Manchester Hospital Gold command, said.
Meanwhile, NHS Providers chief executive Chris Hopson said at least a half-dozen hospital trusts have declared a critical incident as a result of high demand and staff shortages.
Plymouth’s Derriford Hospital, Morecambe Bay NHS Trust, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and The GreatWestern Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in Swindon were among the trusts affected as of yesterday, according to Health Secretary Sajid Javid.
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