‘Serious’ safety fears at Great Ormond Street Hospital ahead of strike
Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (GOSH) is expecting its services to be heavily disrupted on the weekend. The hospital has now declared a “business continuity incident” over “serious concerns” about nurses being able to safely staff the hospital ahead of nurses’ strikes planned for this weekend. It said it would be “unable to staff the hospital to usual nursing ratios” following a review into its staff numbers during the strike.
A business continuity incident is defined by the NHS as “an event or occurrence that; disrupts, (or might disrupt) an organisation’s normal service delivery below acceptable predefined levels”.
The hospital said it has “serious concerns over safely staffing the hospital” because of the strikes by members of the Royal College of Nursing.
It added: “This is not a step we’ve taken lightly but safe care for patients is our priority.”
Nurses are set to strike for 28 hours, starting from 8 pm on 30 April to midnight on 1 May.
According to the hospital, there will be a picket line at the main entrance of the hospital on Monday 1 May from 10am to 4pm.
The alert comes after St Thomas’ Hospital warned it would have “significantly reduced” service in A&E.
GOSH said it was looking to identify which patients can go home safely and start their care later, and those who need to stay in hospital.
Parents have been told to expect to be informed whether they or their child will need to be transferred to a different hospital or can return home.
Mat Shaw, Chief Executive of GOSH, said: “We respect the right of our staff to take part in lawful industrial action, but after exhausting all options, at the moment we have serious concerns over how we will safely staff our hospital during the strike.
“There is nothing more important than the safety of our patients and so we have no choice but to declare a business continuity incident.
“These children have no voice in the debate and we must protect them.
“We urgently need safety exemptions for our intensive care units and other areas of the hospital.”
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