Ambulance staff and nurses to strike on same day

Ambulance workers are to join nurses in taking strike action on 6 February in England and Wales in what will be the biggest NHS walkout in this dispute. The GMB announced four new stoppages for ambulance staff – one of which coincides with a nurses’ strike date. It is the first time both ambulance staff and the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) have acted on the same day.

It comes as RCN members are taking part in two days of strikes on Wednesday and Thursday this week.
GMB national secretary Rachel Harrison said: “Ambulance workers are angry. Our message to the government is clear – talk pay now.”

The walkouts by staff including paramedics, call handlers and support workers in seven of the 10 English ambulance services along with the national Welsh service will take place on 6 and 20 February, and 6 and 20 March.

On Monday, the RCN set 6 and 7 February as the dates for its biggest strike to date, involving more than a third of services in England and all but one health board in Wales. Under trade union laws, both unions will have to provide emergency cover.

But it raises the prospect of urgent 999 calls for falls not being responded to, and a huge chunk of pre-planned hospital care such as hernia repair, hip replacements or outpatient clinics not being done. The call to get around the negotiating table was echoed by RCN general secretary Pat Cullen as her members walked out on Wednesday for the third time this winter. We have extended an olive branch, in fact the whole tree, to government. We’ve said meet us halfway, so now come on.

Source: BBC

In other news – Nine PSNI officers sacked over s.e.xual or domestic misconduct

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has said it sacked nine officers last year for misconduct “which had a s.e.xual or domestic element”. It has also told BBC News NI there are currently 74 ongoing cases, with 32 officers suspended on suspicion of sexual misconduct.

Nine PSNI officers

The total includes some cases dating back years. All UK police services have been reviewing vetting and standards following the murder of Sarah Everard. Learn more

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