I recently wrote about Tom, our ambulance driver, who picks up Kezia and Nanda to ferry them the 14 miles from home to the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital and back again. He is a volunteer, he uses his own car. He doesn't get paid. He gets mileage rates to cover his fuel and the inevitable maintenance costs on his car.
Last week his colleagues in Wales went on strike for two days - they are not being compensated for ever-increasing fuel costs and are seriously out-of-pocket. I don't blame them.
The notoriusly ever over-stretched Welsh ambulance service could hardly do with this strike. I bet the regular full-time struggling-to-cope ambulance service was over-stretched last week, although the NHS managers claimed it had put all contingency plans in place - a voluntary ambulance substitition contingency plan basically means that the NHS pays for a private taxi.
Patients and carers at the RMCH would suffer immensely but for the likes of Tom