Brits to be hit by MORE ambulance strike chaos as Unison plan another two walkouts in January | The SunDecember 22, 2022
BRITS are facing more ambulance strike chaos, with workers planning two more walkouts.
Ambulance staff in Unison will stage two further strikes on January 11 and 23 in the dispute over pay and staffing, the union announced.
Figures for last week show that one in four ambulance patients in England waited more than an hour to be handed to A&E teams at hospitals, while new data suggests patients in hospital with flu in England has "skyrocketed" and Strep A is driving "near record" demand for NHS 111 services.
Nurses staged walkouts on December 15 and Tuesday, while ambulance workers in England and Wales followed suit on Wednesday and another strike is planned for December 28.
Ten thousand ambulance staff at nine NHS trusts walked out in the biggest 999 strike for 30 years, in a row over pay and conditions.
Unison members in five ambulance services in England are to stage two further strikes on January 11 and 23 while the Unite union has announced that its members in the Welsh Ambulance Service have voted to strike, with 1,000 workers set to take action on dates to be announced in the new year.
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The majority of ambulance trusts in England declared critical incidents this week – meaning they were on their highest level of alert where they feared they could not provide usual critical services.
It comes as desperate families were forced to rush their loved ones to A&E in their own cars yesterday amid strike action.
Unions pledged to respond to life-threatening calls, but ambulances were not automatically sent to people suffering heart attacks or strokes, and many patients were advised to take a taxi to A&E.
Yesterday Steve Barclay said unions made a 'conscious choice' to inflict harm on patients.
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The Health Secretary pointed the finger at the unions, sparking an angry row over who will be to blame if any patients die.
Writing in The Telegraph, after last-minute talks broke down Mr Barclay said: "We now know that the NHS contingency plans will not cover all 999 calls.
"Ambulance unions have made a conscious choice to inflict harm on patients."
Workers across several other industries are also set to strike in the build-up to Christmas – including border force staff tomorrow.
On Thursday, strikes will be held by Unite members working for Highlands and Islands Airports, National Highways workers in London and the South East, and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency in the North West, Yorkshire and Humber and North Wales.
Unison workers at the Environment Agency will refuse to provide on-call cover for unexpected incidents, and Rural Payments Agency staff will continue their walkout.
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