Ambulance workers announce two more strike dates in January

Prepare for MORE ambulance chaos! Unison announces two more strike dates in January as another union plots walk-out in Wales

  • Five ambulance services in England will walk out again on January 11 and 23 
  • Strike will affect London , Yorkshire, the North West, North East and South West
  • READ MORE: How bad are ambulance delays at YOUR hospital? Use our tool

Ambulance workers will stage two fresh strikes in the dispute over pay and staffing, unions announced today.

Members of the trade union Unison in five ambulance services in England will walk out on January 11 and 23. 

The new strikes will affect London, Yorkshire, the North West, North East and South West and follows action by members of three ambulance unions on Wednesday.

For comparison, yesterday’s strikes hit half of the UK, with only workers in the East of England not taking action.

Meanwhile, around 1,000 Welsh Ambulance Service workers also voted to strike, Unite said.

Ambulance workers take part in a strike, amid a dispute with the Government over pay, outside NHS London Ambulance Service

Ambulance services hit more than half the UK yesterday 

The workers, including paramedics, EMTs and emergency call handling staff, voted by 88 per cent to strike, the union said.

Unite said strike dates will be announced early next year.

The union staged strikes in the North West, West Midlands and South West yesterday, but will be taking action in Wales for the first time.

The strike in Wales yesterday was organised by members of the GMB union. 

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: ‘Unite’s ambulance service members in Wales are striking because they see first-hand every day how the NHS is collapsing. They are dedicated life-saving professionals and are taking this step because they know the NHS itself needs saving.

‘The Welsh Government must put a better offer on the table to help resolve the recruitment and retention crisis that is crippling the service. 

‘But it is also incumbent on the Conservative Government in Westminster, who hold the ultimate responsibility for the years of destruction inflicted on the NHS, to meet with health unions and urgently address staffing and pay levels.’

Britons are still being urged to make their own way to hospital despite paramedics no longer being on strike today.

The North East Ambulance Service has said that they still face ‘unprecedented pressures impacting our ability to respond to patients’ even though ambulance staff are back at work.

Ambulance workers in England and Wales walked out on Wednesday, following action by nurses on Tuesday, with the NHS braced for extra pressure over Christmas as a knock-on effect of the industrial action.

But some patients will still be advised to make their own way to hospital when it is safe to do so amid continued ‘unprecedented pressures’, the North East Ambulance Service has said.

Wednesday — when ambulance workers went on strike — was ‘incredibly challenging’, the service said, adding it had ‘followed a peak in pressures earlier in the week when we declared a critical incident’.

A 4×4 outside the Royal Sussex County Hospital yesterday as members of the public were forced to take loved ones to A&E themselves. North East Ambulance Service has said 

Ambulances parked outside the West Midlands Ambulance Service headquarters in Coventry, during walkouts by paramedics, ambulance technicians and call handlers in England and Wales yesterday. NHS trusts fear a bounce back today after patients delayed treatment

How many ambulance workers werere striking? Which areas were affected? Were heart attack victims taken to hospital by 999 crews? EVERYTHING you need to know about yesterday’s ambulance strike 

Chief operating officer Stephen Segasby said: ‘We remain at our highest level of alert status because of the continuing unprecedented pressures impacting our ability to respond to patients, although we are no longer declaring a critical incident.

‘However, many of the actions we put in place at the start of the week will remain in place to focus our resources on those who are most in need. This includes advising some patients to make their own way to hospital when it is safe to do so.’

A gloomy NHS boss today declared that the ‘don’t get drunk’ diktat given because of strikes by nurses and ambulance drivers this week should become permanent.

Matthew Taylor, head of the NHS Confederation and former chief adviser on political strategy for Tony Blair, has said it is ‘risky’ to drink heavily this Christmas amid fears that the NHS could be overwhelmed.

Asked about official advice not to get drunk because walkouts by NHS staff caused severe disruption to services this week, Mr Taylor suggested that it should never be revoked.

He told the BBC: ‘Yes, that is a message we should always have… not to indulge in behaviours that are bad for their health and are risky. It is important that the public use the NHS in the best way they can.’

Hospitals face a grim Christmas and could be overwhelmed amid fears people will flood in to A&E today after delaying treatment because of the ambulance strikes yesterday and nurses walking out 24 hours earlier.

Saffron Cordery, interim chief executive of NHS Providers, said hospitals were braced for a ‘surge in demand for emergency treatment’ as a knock-on effect of the ambulance and nursing strikes. She told Times Radio there was a ‘very difficult picture’ across the health and care system, with social care ‘extremely stressed’ and a ‘deeply challenging’ situation in the NHS.

Up to 10,000 ambulance workers, including paramedics, technicians and call handlers, joined the industrial action at ten out of the 11 ambulance trusts in England and Wales yesterday. 100,000 nursing staff staged their second strike on December 20.

Health chiefs have warned of a calm before the storm after 999 calls plummeted in many areas yesterday, saying they are predicting an immediate bounce in calls today. Insiders have said that A&Es and wards face a ‘very challenging’ Christmas.

Mr Taylor also warned that the NHS could not ‘go on coping’ with a winter of strikes and industrial action as he urged the Government and trade unions to come to an agreement.

It comes after shocking data today showed eight in ten NHS ambulances are forced to wait at least 30 minutes outside busy A&E units in parts of England.

Nearly 70,000 patients were whizzed to hospitals by 999 crews last week. 

But more than 28,000 — or 40 per cent — faced delays of at least 30 minutes before being passed to casualty teams.

The numbers, described as ‘monstrous’, are worse than at any point in recent winter crises.

In other related news… 

Revealed, six-figure salaries of hard-Left union barons behind ambulance strikes: One is a former Communist, another was kicked out of Labour and a third says she’s ‘open to working at the edges of the law’ 

NHS will spend £100,000 on scheme that teaches staff how to be inclusive to pregnant transgender men… and it could see them encouraged to say things like ‘chest-feeding’ 

Up to 30 THOUSAND appointments and ops were cancelled due to NHS nursing strikes… so how badly was YOUR hospital hit?

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