England

More strikes to be held by Yorkshire Ambulance staff

Ambulance staff are to stage two further strikes in Yorkshire in protest at new shift patterns.

Unite members at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust have already held four strikes since 1 February and will walk out again on 7 and 10 March.

The union claims proposed longer shift patterns could lead to staff working for up to 10 hours without a meal break and could affect patient safety.

The trust said it continued to seek on-going dialogue with Unite through Acas.

'Last resort'

Unite members took industrial action for a period of 24 hours on 1 February; for four hours on 3 February and for five hours on 14 and 17 February.

The next walkouts will be for five hours from 15:00 to 20:00 GMT.

Terry Cunliffe, Unite regional officer, said: "We do understand that there will be public concern about the latest strike action.

"We want to continue to reassure them that this is a last resort due to the hardline management stance which has continued for more than year against Unite, after we raised legitimate concerns over patient safety."

The trust said during the strikes it would be taking steps "to maintain operational cover to sustain effective and safe services for patients calling upon us for emergency medical assistance".

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