Home Business News Boris warned he ‘can no longer be dismissive’ over NHS staffing levels as troops deployed to London hospitals

Boris warned he ‘can no longer be dismissive’ over NHS staffing levels as troops deployed to London hospitals

by LLB political Reporter
7th Jan 22 12:37 pm

The Prime Minister has been told by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) that the deployment of the armed forces to hospitals means he can no longer say there is not a “staffing crisis” within the NHS.

Armed forces personnel are being deployed to support hospitals in London as thousands of nurses are absent from work due to health issues.

Around 200 military medics will assist NHS doctors and nurses and general military personnel will help to fill in other gaps.

Patricia Marquis, the RCN’s director for England, said, “The Prime Minister and others can no longer be dismissive of questions about the ability of NHS staff to deliver safe care.

“Once the military has been brought in, where does the government turn next in a bid to ‘ride out’ the wave rather than deal with it?”

Lisa Elliott, the RCN’s London director, told Sky News that hospitals in the capital are “extremely busy at the moment” and the level of absence due to Covid is creating a “very challenging situation to work in at the moment.”

“I think the fact that we’ve had to bring the Army in really demonstrates the huge pressures that services are under at the moment,” she said.

“My members will tell you that it doesn’t feel like it’s stabilising at the moment and they can’t see an end to it.”

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said, “The men and women of our Armed Forces are once again stepping up to support their dedicated colleagues in the NHS as they work hand-in-hand to protect the nation from COVID-19.

“They have shown their worth time and again throughout this pandemic, whether driving ambulances, administering vaccines or supporting patients in hospital, and they should be proud of their contribution to this truly national effort.”

Armed Forces minister James Heappey told Sky News, “London has made a request for support for hospitals that are struggling with winter pressures and Omicron and we’re able to help by sending personnel in to help with both clinical and administrative tasks.

“This will help nursing staff deliver on the wards while soldiers and sailors do some of the other things for them.

“Sailors and medics will be working with doctors and nurses but that’s not new. We’ve been doing that throughout the pandemic with trusts throughout the UK.

“It’s also tried and tested for non-clinical personnel to go into hospitals to do administrative tasks to help wards running well.”

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