Ambulance strike Sheffield: 'Severe disruption' warning as thousands of workers walk out again

Ambulances will respond where there is an immediate risk to life - but less serious calls may not receive a response during industrial action, bosses say.
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Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust is urging the public to only dial 999 where a patient has a life-threatening or very serious condition during a strike on Monday February 20.

The industrial action is part of a national pay dispute with the government. Union membership in Yorkshire Ambulance Service of GMB is approximately 1,370 staff, out of a workforce of over 7,000.

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Nick Smith, executive director of operations at the trust, said 999 and 111 services would be affected.

UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea joins ambulance workers on the picket line outside Longley Ambulance Station in Sheffield, as members of Unison and GMB unions take strike action over pay and conditions that will affect non-life threatening calls. Picture date: Wednesday January 11, 2023. PA Photo. See PA story INDUSTRY Strikes Ambulances. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA WireUNISON general secretary Christina McAnea joins ambulance workers on the picket line outside Longley Ambulance Station in Sheffield, as members of Unison and GMB unions take strike action over pay and conditions that will affect non-life threatening calls. Picture date: Wednesday January 11, 2023. PA Photo. See PA story INDUSTRY Strikes Ambulances. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea joins ambulance workers on the picket line outside Longley Ambulance Station in Sheffield, as members of Unison and GMB unions take strike action over pay and conditions that will affect non-life threatening calls. Picture date: Wednesday January 11, 2023. PA Photo. See PA story INDUSTRY Strikes Ambulances. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

He added: “Ambulances will still be able to respond during the strike, but this will only be where there is an immediate risk to life. Less serious calls may not receive a response or a significantly delayed response for the duration of the strike action and some patients might be asked to make their own way to hospital, where it is safe for them to so.

“Patients waiting for an ambulance should only call back if their symptoms worsen or to cancel an ambulance if alternative transport has been arranged, so that our lines are available to take new emergency calls. We also ask that people seek help and advice from alternative healthcare providers, including NHS 111 Online (111.nhs.uk), their own GP or by visiting a pharmacist.”

On January 11, Unison and GMB members from at least three of Sheffield’s ambulance stations were among 25,000 NHS workers who downed tools. Thousands of ambulance workers also walked out on Monday, January 23 and December 21.