Yorkshire Ambulance Service workers stage second strike

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Ambulance staff have been on strike for the second time in protest against new shift patterns.

Members of the Unite union at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust walked out for four hours from 15:00 GMT.

Unite says proposed longer shift patterns could lead to staff working for up to 10 hours without a meal break.

A 24-hour strike, which was branded "reckless" by trust chief executive David Whiting, took place on Saturday.

Unite officer Terry Cunliffe said the day-long strike was "extremely well supported".

'Continued fight'

He described the proposed shift patterns as "unsafe" for staff and, as a result, unsafe for the public.

He said: "This relatively short period of industrial action will pale into insignificance compared to the impact the management plan would have.

"We are hoping to send a further message that we are going to continue to fight and refuse to be silenced on this issue."

Mr Whiting accused Unite of being "reckless" and of "neglecting" patient care.

He added the trust "continued to refute" what he said were "misleading and factually incorrect claims" being made by Unite.

"Our focus is on safeguarding patient care and we are committed to minimising the level of disruption to our services.

"Industrial action in this form is certainly not in the best interests of patients, and it is deeply concerning for a trade union representing ambulance service workers to strike without making any concessions to patient safety."

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