Paramedics strike: London Ambulance Service workers could join mass NHS walkout

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It comes just days after the nurses union confirmed it was balloting members over strike action.

Paramedics could be set to join NHS workers in a mass walkout, amid continued strike action.

Workers in the GMB union from the London Ambulance Service (LAS) are voting on whether to take industrial action over a 4% pay award - which they say is forcing paramedics out in droves.

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It comes just days after the nurses union confirmed it was balloting members over strike action and follows a summer of strikes by lawyers, transport staff and postal workers.

Paramedics prepare to remove a patient from an ambulance parked outside Guy’s Hospital. Photo: GettyParamedics prepare to remove a patient from an ambulance parked outside Guy’s Hospital. Photo: Getty
Paramedics prepare to remove a patient from an ambulance parked outside Guy’s Hospital. Photo: Getty | AFP via Getty Images

And a consultative ballot saw almost 92% of members say they were in favour of a walkout.

GMB organiser Lola McEvoy: “Members in the ambulance service have been forced to take a stand in order to protect patient care.”

Ballot dates will be announced in the coming days, the union said.

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A member of the London Ambulance Service. Photo: GettyA member of the London Ambulance Service. Photo: Getty
A member of the London Ambulance Service. Photo: Getty | AFP via Getty Images

More than 1,500 London paramedics and ambulance workers in the union are angry over the 4% pay award, which leaves them facing a massive real terms pay cut, GMB said.

The union has also announced a formal strike ballot in Yorkshire, North East, West and East Midlands, North West and East of England Ambulance Services.

“Dedicated ambulance workers are leaving trusts in droves, because the workload pressure is too much and the pay is too poor,” Ms McEvoy continued.

A paramedic walks past ambulances outside the Royal London Hospital. Photo: GettyA paramedic walks past ambulances outside the Royal London Hospital. Photo: Getty
A paramedic walks past ambulances outside the Royal London Hospital. Photo: Getty | AFP via Getty Images

“Those left behind are fighting to protect themselves, their colleagues and the future of the NHS.

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“They do not take industrial action lightly and it’s always a last resort – but things can’t go on like this; something has to give.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson (DHSC) said: “We are giving over a million NHS workers a pay rise of at least £1,400 this year, as recommended by the independent NHS pay review body.”

“Industrial action is a matter for unions, and we urge them to carefully consider the potential impacts on patients,” they added.

The London Ambulance Service (LAS) has been contacted for comment.

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