AMBULANCE workers will stage a second strike tomorrow (Monday) in a row over shifts, despite being branded reckless.

Members of the Unite union in Yorkshire walked out for 24 hours yesterday (Saturday) and will take action again for four hours from 3pm on Monday, claiming some paramedics could work for ten hours without a meal break under new longer shift patterns.

The union said this would impact on patient safety and is calling for a 30-minute meal break every six hours.

Loading article content

Unite said yesterdays strike was well supported.

The Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust will issue a statement tomorrow on the effect of the industrial action on its services.

Chief executive David Whiting accused Unite of being "reckless" and of "neglecting patient care, adding: I would like to reiterate that I remain deeply concerned over this type of action, which I know is of concern to all of our A&E staff, who are very committed to patient care, and will place many of them in a very difficult situation.

"Industrial action in this form is certainly not in the best interests of patients, and it is deeply concerning for a trade union representing ambulance service workers to strike without making any concessions to patient safety.

Unite officer Terry Cunliffe said: Our members, who are doing their best for the Yorkshire public in very difficult circumstances, have been under sustained attack by the Trusts hardline management for more than a year.

The latest erosion in their employment conditions is the demand to work elongated shifts which could mean them working more than ten hours on the trot before managers deign to give them a meal break. This could affect their ability to do their jobs - helping people in distress."