The NHS entered the last six hours of the ambulance strike with a sense that the real test will be seen in the coming days.
Call volumes were down and many A&Es quieter than in previous days. NHS111 was very busy.
Despite the fears expressed by leaders ahead of the strike not yet coming to fruition, the day ended with eight integrated care systems declaring critical incidents, along with all striking ambulance trusts and a number of hospital trusts.
Leaders across the country told HSJ they feared that those who stayed away today in response to pleas for “common sense” amid industrial action may come back tomorrow, seeing demand return strongly.
A senior London source said: “The ambulances will have stacked some calls and we may have a flood of movement tomorrow.”
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Source: HSJ, 21 December 2022