Ambulances parked up across Harborough district as strikes take place

Paramedics are among those in East Midlands Ambulance Service striking today (Wednesday) after GMB trade union members voted in favour of action.
Ambulances parked up across districtAmbulances parked up across district
Ambulances parked up across district

Ambulance staff across the district have gone on strike as part of a pay dispute.

Paramedics are among those in East Midlands Ambulance Service striking today (Wednesday) after GMB trade union members voted in favour of action.

Ambulances were parked up outside stations in Harborough and Lutterworth today as action took place.

The first strike will run until 6am tomorrow, with second 24 hour strike again taking 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.

Staff including 999 controllers and non-emergency patient transport staff are among those striking. 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 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.”