Yorkshire ambulance staff in strike ballot threat over shake-up anger

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ambulance workers in Yorkshire are threatening to ballot for strike action over a shake-up which they say is affecting the welfare of staff.

Unison, which has 3,000 members working for Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS), has given managers a list of demands which it wishes to be met by tomorrow or they will hold a strike ballot.

They have been drawn up after a redesign of working practices for frontline staff.

Bryn Webster, secretary of the Yorkshire Ambulance Service branch of Unison, said: “Hungry, tired staff are not able to give the best possible care.

“We are being sent to jobs when we should be on a break or we should be finishing.

“Rural cover is being brought into urban areas, and the rural areas are being left without any double-crewed ambulances.”

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At a meeting, Unison members said they did not want the changes to have a negative impact on patient care and passed a vote of no confidence in senior management.

Their demands include ensuring staff can take their breaks and that an ambulances should not be staffed only by two emergency care assistants.

They are also asking for better allocation of double-crewed ambulances after waits of over two-and-a-half hours for the vehicles to transfer patients to hospital after an incident was attended by a rapid response vehicle, which has one crew member.

A spokesman for Yorkshire Ambulance Service said they were in ongoing discussions with Unison: “Monday’s meeting was encouraging and we continue to work together towards a positive outcome. We remain focused on providing safe, responsive and high-quality services to patients and looking after the welfare of our staff.”

Unite members at YAS are currently in a separate dispute and hold their latest strikes tomorrow and Monday.

There are currently no NHS places available at any of the 15 listed NHS practices in Harrogate and Knaresborough.

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