Unions: Ambulance cuts 'put patient safety at risk'

Unions claim spending cuts at the Yorkshire Ambulance Service will put patient safety at risk. Unite union members are to stage a fresh strike tomorrow, walking out for 12 hours from midday.

The row centres on plans by Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust to make savings of £46 million over the next five years. Unite, which has 500 members at the trust, said ambulance workloads were increasing by up to 6% every month.

Our members are increasingly concerned about patient safety because of the downgrading of the current skill level on NHS frontline vehicles in Yorkshire. We call yet again on the blinkered, hardline management at the Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust to enter into meaningful talks with Unite. The continuing refusal of the management to discuss patient safety - which led to the derecognition of the union - has left our members with no option but to take further industrial action.

– Terry Cunliffe, Unite regional officer