Ambulance service staff will take strike action tomorrow (January 11) in a dispute over pay, conditions, and recruitment.
More than 10,000 GMB Union ambulance workers across nine trusts in England and Wales, including South East Coast Ambulance Service, will take part in the industrial action.
Paramedics, Emergency Care Assistants, call handlers and other staff across the ambulance services and some NHS Trusts have voted to strike over the Government’s imposed 4 per cent pay award – saying it is another massive real terms pay cut.
Rachel Harrison, GMB National Secretary, said: “Ambulance workers across England and Wales will go on strike for the second time.
“GMB cancelled a planned strike over the Christmas period to say thank you to the public for their incredible support.
“It also allowed time for the Government to talk to us about pay, but Ministers have dithered and postured, wasting valuable time.
“To end this dispute, GMB needs a concrete offer to help resolve the NHS’s crushing recruitment and retention crisis.
“The public expects the Government to treat this dispute seriously – it’s time they got on with it.”
Nurses also taking industrial action next Wednesday and Thursday and a further ambulance strike is scheduled for Monday 23rdJanuary.
Ambulance services will prioritise the most clinically urgent cases and on strike days if it is not life-threatening people may have to wait longer than usual. Where safe and appropriate, some may be asked to make their own way to hospital – although it is important that they get medical advice from 111 or 999 before doing so.
The NHS will contact anyone whose appointment has to be rescheduled due to strike action.
The NHS is asking people to use services wisely by going to NHS 111 online as the first port of call for health needs and continuing to call 999 in a life-threatening emergency.
General practice, community pharmacies, and dentistry are not impacted by strike action and the public should continue to access these services as needed on strike days.