THIS WEEK IN 1982: Walk outs leave patients stranded

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Portsmouth ambulance crews staged a protest walk-out, leaving up to 50 patients stranded in hospital.

The crews walked out of the city’s main ambulance station, leaving medics on duty to deal with emergencies only.

Elderly and disabled patients, due to be taken home from day wards and clinics, were left stranded.

Ambulance and hospital administrators were trying to contact relatives, organising taxis and overnight stays in hospital for the patients.

A spokesman for the Hampshire ambulance administration said there was no fear that anyone involved in an accident or other emergencies would be affected by the dispute.

The crews, members of the National Union of Public Employees and the Confederation of Health Service Employees, went on strike in protest against the docking of their pay after days of ‘emergency only’ action in support of the health workers’ pay claim.

Fourteen men and women walked out, leaving crews for three emergency ambulances.

Work was going ahead normally from the small Cosham and Portsea stations.