Monday, May 27News For London

Ambulance strikes: Elderly feel unwanted

Image credit: Unsplash

The Health Secretary, Steve Barclay, has announced that elderly people who fall are unlikely to get an ambulance during the planned strike action. 

Barclay, told Sky News that only “life-threatening conditions” will be covered during the industrial action. Paramedics and 999 operators from Unite, Unison and GMB unions will be striking on 21 and 28 December.

Unions have confirmed that only category one emergencies, such as strokes and heart attacks will be covered.

This comes amidst a range of other strikes planned for December. NHS nurses and RMT rail workers are also planning to strike.

Janet Baker, 86, Harrow, is worried that if she has a fall, she won’t be able to cope without medical attention. 

She said: “I live alone, my family is hours away. Who is going to check on me? Who will drive me to the hospital should something happen? It makes us old people feel like we’re not wanted. That our lives do not matter as much as others”

Some elderly people have decided to pay for private carers during these times. Karolina Wayker, 36, is a personal carer for an elderly lady in Kensington.

She said: “Lisa, the lady that I look after, is 92. She is independent and doesn’t really need personal care but she is scared that if something happens to her, she won’t get medical attention in time.”

Miss Wayker continued: “Luckily, Lisa can afford to hire private care. But what about those who can’t? What about the elderly who are struggling financially as it is?”

Specialist Advice

Care home worker Jason Davidson has said that he advises people to stay in touch with their elderly relatives during the winter period.

He said: “Even without the strikes, winter is a difficult time for elderly people. I would advise everyone to keep an eye on their relatives, friends and neighbours. Even a five minute call to check how they are doing can make a huge difference.”

Mr. Davidson recommended that people check on their elderly relatives at least twice a week.

Age UK recommends that elderly people stay active during the winter. Short and frequent walks for those who are able are the best way to keep the body moving and can prevent injury.