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A Sky News survey has revealed that nine of the 10 ambulance services in England have declared the second-highest level of alert in response to the NHS winter crisis.
With only the London Ambulance Service currently operating below Resource Escalation Action Plans (REAP) level three, the remaining nine - East Midlands, East of England, North East, North West, South Central, South East Coast, South Western, West Midlands and Yorkshire ambulance services - are all operating at level three.
Nathan Hudson, an assistant chief officer at West Midlands Ambulance Service, with whom Sky News spent the day, said: “You hear lots of things about the NHS being in crisis but for us this is just winter, and it comes every year. We have found it incredibly challenging not just with the excessive demand and on top of that we had the snow that came before Christmas. Staff have been fantastic, without them we would not have been able to cope. The biggest danger of delays is patients’ safety. When ambulances are delayed at hospital they are not out on the road getting to patients who need them.”
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