Ambulance workers to strike on 10 February

Thousands of ambulance staff across five services in England – London, Yorkshire, the South West, North East and North West – will walk out on Thursday 10 February, Unison says. It means strikes over pay will now be happening across the NHS every day next week, apart from Wednesday.

Life-threatening 999 calls will be attended to but others may not be. Downing Street says the continuing industrial action will concern the public.

The NHS’s biggest day of industrial action is set to happen on 6 February, when many nurses and ambulance crews across England and Wales will be on strike. The prime minister’s official spokesman said: “We are putting in place significant mitigations that have previously helped reduce some of the impact from these strikes.

“But first and foremost we would ask the unions to reconsider that approach and continue discussions.Unison says the government must stop “pretending the strikes will simply go away” and act decisively to end the dispute by improving pay.

The union warned that unless the government had a “major rethink” over NHS pay, and got involved in “actual talks” with unions, it would announce strike dates running into March.

The government says the above-inflation pay rises requested are unaffordable. Pay rises are decided by independent pay review bodies.

NHS staff in England and Wales – including nurses – have already received an average increase of 4.75%. The lowest-paid were guaranteed a rise of at least £1,400.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health and Social Care has missed the deadline for submitting evidence on next year’s pay award for more than a million NHS staff, MPs have been told.

Former health minister Steve Brine, who is now chair of the House of Commons’ Health and Social Care Committee, said he was “astonished”. The Treasury has submitted evidence.

Source: BBC

In other news – Man jailed for killing 19-year-old woman in crash

A man has been jailed for 10 years for killing a 19-year-old woman in a crash. Luke Hawkes, 28, was driving a white Ford Transit van at high speed when it went through a red light and hit two cars on the A38 Taunton Road, near Bridgwater, Somerset, on 8 November.

Man jailed

Bethany Branson, a passenger in one of the two vehicles, died at the scene. Learn more

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