Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust is urging people across the region to only call 999 for an ambulance in a medical emergency when it is obvious that someone has a serious or life-threatening illness or injury, due to a high volume of calls being made to the service.
Dr David Macklin, Interim Executive Director of Operations at the Trust, said:
Ambulance staff across Yorkshire are walking out on strike today. Around 400 members of the Unite Union are taking part in the action. The strike begins at 3pm and lasts for six hours. Yorkshire Ambulance Service says it's disappointed, but that the trust is making changes to address some of the concerns raised by staff.
A number of Ambulance staff in Yorkshire are preparing to walk out for most of the Tour De France weekend.
The trust running the service, says the action by members of the UNITE Union, which represents about ten per cent of the workforce shows a total disregard for the welfare of patients.
The union claims changes to shift patterns could effect public safety:
Yorkshire Ambulance service workers have voted to strike on the fifth and sixth of July - the weekend of the Tour De France. Four hundred members of the Unite union are embroiled in a long-running dispute over new working conditions and meal breaks.
The union says it has very real concerns about patient and staff safety and has denied that taking industrial action next weekend is a cynical ploy.
Yorkshire Ambulance Service say they are disappointed at the decision by staff belonging to the Unite union to strike on the weekend of the Tour de France.
Staff from Yorkshire Ambulance Service have voted to strike on the weekend of the Grand Départ leg of the Tour de France in Yorkshire.
The union UNITE balloted members over the action which is the latest in a long running dispute over patient and staff safety issues.
Unite members working at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust voted by 84 per cent to strike between 06:00 and 23:59 on Saturday 5 July and on Sunday 6 July, starting at 18:00 and ending at 22:00.
The 400 members of the union represent less than ten per cent of the Trust's full staff.
Bosses at the Ambulance Service withdrew recognition from Unite as a union representing staff as a result of the continuing dispute.
Unite say staff are concerned about the introduction of elongated shift patterns. The union claim it is only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or killed as a result of staff exhaustion.
Yorkshire Ambulance Service say the possibility of staff members striking is a 'disappointing' development in continuing discussions with union, Unison.
Yorkshire ambulance staff are threatening possible industrial action in a row over staffing.
Yorkshire Ambulance Service insist the change will not jeopardise patient safety but is simply a better use of resources.
But the union, Unison, say management plans to staff some ambulances with two Emergency Care Assistants - rather than having a fully qualified paramedic on board - will put patients at risk.
Staff from the Yorkshire Ambulance Service belonging to the Unite union have announced they will strike this weekend.
The strike will take place across the county from 3pm on Saturday to 7am on Sunday morning.
The union has three hundred and seventy five members in the service.
The crux of the dispute is the introduction of longer shift patterns that could mean staff working ten hours without a meal break.
The union has said that it is only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or killed as a result of staff exhaustion.
In a statement the Trust said it has "taken all reasonable procedural steps to resolve the dispute and has fully cooperated with the course of action agreed with the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS)."
Yorkshire ambulance staff have voted to take strike action over changes in shift patterns which could mean paramedics going more than 10 hours without a meal break and staff being forced to work 12 hour shifts.
The staff, members of Unite, voted overwhelmingly for a 24 hour strike which will commence at 00:01 hours on Saturday February 1.
They also plan to walkout for four hours, between 3pm and 7pm on Monday February 3 over the imminent introduction of new elongated shift patterns.
Unite regional officer Terry Cunliffe said: “Our members are taking action as they are very concerned about the scale of these changes and how they will impact on patient safety in Yorkshire. The shift patterns are not family friendly and will lead to an overtired workforce.
“Once again, Unite makes the offer of talks with David Whiting, the trust’s chief executive, who has dug in his heels and refuses to engage with the legitimate concerns Unite has raised on behalf of its members and the Yorkshire public.”