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Ambulance staff strike fearing that proposed changes will risk patients’ lives

South Western Ambulance VX09FYP

Yorkshire Ambulance staff are striking until 9pm tonight over fears that new working conditions will threaten patient safety.

Protestors from the Unite union are taking industrial action after citing concerns that funding cuts would effect patient care.

Regional officer, Terry Cunliffe, said that the union would not be taking strike action had the NHS Trust communicated with them about their fears.

He said: “We would not take this industrial action had we been assured by the trust that there are robust measures in place to ensure patient safety.

“How do you think my members feel when they know that patients’ lives are being lost in the other 364 days of the year?”

But  Executive Director, Ian Brandwood, from the NHS Trust said that although they respect members’ right to strike they feel the union are clouding the issue.

He said: “We would also like to point out that Unite the Union balloted its members for industrial action in relation to a trade dispute over de-recognition not patient safety as they claim.

“The vast majority of our A&E staff will be working as normal today and we are committed to minimising the level of disruption to our services.

“We would like to reassure members of the public that we have robust contingency plans in place, our focus is on safeguarding patient care and we are committed to minimising the level of disruption to our services.”

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