East Midlands Ambulance Service staff set to strike over pay dispute

Only urgent cases will be attended and sometimes only if there is a threat to life.
Paramedics are set to strikeParamedics are set to strike
Paramedics are set to strike

Paramedics are set to strike in a dispute over pay.

East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) will strike over the next two weeks after GMB trade union members voted in favour of action.

Strikes will take place from Wednesday December 21 at 6am to Thursday December 22 at 6am. A second 24 hour strike will then again take place from 6am Wednesday December 28.

Residents have been warned fewer ambulances will be available and response times will be much slower. Only urgent cases will be attended and sometimes only if there is a threat to life.

The service says up to half of its 4,000-strong team of staff could take part in the strike – including paramedics, 999 controllers and non-emergency patient transport staff. Pay for staff is decided at a national level.

Director of operations Ben Holdaway said: “During the period of the dispute, we will do all we can to minimise the impact on patient safety and will continue to work very closely with trade union colleagues, regional service providers and NHS Employers.

“Our operational teams have developed contingency plans to aim to maximise the number of ambulance staff and volunteers we have available to respond to patients, as well as clinical staff able to carry out remote clinical assessments.

“However, we anticipate that on days where there is industrial action that there will still be fewer ambulances available and therefore our responses to our patients will, inevitably, be much slower on the day.

“Therefore our 999 control rooms, where possible, will carefully assess and prioritise an ambulance response for those who need it most, and this may only be where there is a threat to life.

Patients should continue to call for an ambulance as normal if they experience a life-threatening emergency and should continue to access other more appropriate services for any other illnesses or injuries such as NHS111 online or contacting their local Urgent Treatment Centre.

“We fully respect the right of NHS staff to take lawful and peaceful industrial action, however we do urge national employer representatives and trade union colleagues to proactively engage and reach a negotiated settlement to the dispute as quickly as possible.”

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