Paramedics and 999 call handlers in the North East are set to strike before Christmas after voting in favour of a walkout.

Unison said thousands of staff at the North East Ambulance Service will be called out on strike in a row over pay, working conditions, and ambulance delays.

Paramedics, 999 call handlers, ambulance technicians and other staff are all involved in the dispute.

Read more: LISTED: The parts of the North East where nurses will strike next mont​h

Unison boss Christina McAnea called the decision to strike a ‘tough call’ but said delays and waiting times won’t improve unless the Government acts on wages.

McAnea said: “The decision to ​take action and lose a day’s pay is always a tough call. It’s especially challenging for those whose jobs involve caring and saving lives.

“But thousands of ambulance staff and their NHS colleagues know delays won’t lessen, nor waiting times reduce, until the Government acts on wages. That’s why they’ve taken the difficult decision to strike.

“Patients will always come first and emergency cover will be available during any strike. But unless NHS pay and staffing get fixed, services and care will continue to decline.

“The public knows health services won’t improve without huge increases in staffing and wants the government to pay up to save ​the NHS. It’s high time ministers stopped using the pay review body as cover for their inaction.

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“Jeremy Hunt, Rishi Sunak and Steve Barclay must roll up their sleeves and start talking to unions about how better wages for staff can help start to turn the NHS around.”  

Staff in Yorkshire, North West, South West, and London will also be called out on strike.

It comes as nurses in our region will walk out for the first time ever for two days next month in a row over pay and conditions.

Two strike dates have been set by the Royal College of Nursing on December 15 and 20.

Gateshead, Northumbria and Newcastle NHS Trusts will be impacted by the nursing walkout.

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