Health secretary’s comments on ambulance workers ‘insulting’, says GMB national secretary

The GMB’s nationwide secretary Rachel Harrison has hit again at claims made by well being secretary Steve Barclay who accused commerce unions of constructing a “acutely aware choice” to “inflict hurt” on sufferers forward of the strikes as we speak.

In an article for The Each day Telegraph, Mr Barclay wrote: “We now know that the NHS contingency plans is not going to cowl all 999 calls.

“Ambulance unions have made a acutely aware option to inflict hurt on sufferers.”

Requested for her ideas on Mr Barclay’s remarks, Rachel Harrison referred to as the feedback “insulting to our key NHS and ambulance employees”.


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She informed Sky Information: “They’ve made a acutely aware choice to face for what they imagine is an NHS that’s crumbling beneath their ft”.

This comes as 1000’s of ambulance employees and paramedics are placing on Wednesday as Britain enters a crucial section of commercial motion. Round 25,000 paramedics and ambulance crews are anticipated to participate within the first nationwide strikes for greater than 30 years, with 10 of 11 trusts in England and Wales affected.

Round 600 members of the Armed Forces have been drafted in to drive ambulances throughout the strikes.

The well being secretary met unions on Tuesday afternoon however last-minute talks failed to handle the problem of pay.

After the assembly with unions, Mr Barclay tweeted: “I vastly worth the work of our NHS workers and it’s disappointing some union members are going forward with additional strike motion – my door stays open to additional talks. Unions have referred to as for industrial motion to trigger most disruption & inevitably it will have an effect”.

“Class 1 calls”, which means probably the most life-threatening circumstances equivalent to cardiac arrest, will nonetheless be responded to, and a few ambulance trusts have additionally agreed exemptions with unions for particular incidents inside class 2. This would come with circumstances of coronary heart assault, stroke, sepsis and chest ache.

Nevertheless, officers are nonetheless not sure over how far protection of those classes will be maintained. Due to the motion, those that endure non-life-threatening accidents are unlikely to obtain therapy, with some NHS trusts urging individuals to get themselves to the hospital or take a taxi.

Ministers have urged the general public to not embark on any “dangerous exercise”; they are saying pointless automotive journeys, together with contact sports activities, ought to be prevented. NHS officers have additionally urged individuals to “drink responsibly” to be able to cut back the chance of accidents and accidents.

The affect of Wednesday’s strikes is anticipated to be better than that of the commercial motion by nurses, who walked out on Tuesday for a second 48-hour strike. 

A second ambulance strike is deliberate for Dec 28, with threats of additional motion by paramedics and technicians within the New Yr.