Fears ambulance strikes will put lives at risk after unions refuse to reveal which areas will walkout
GRANT Shapps has said he is “concerned” that ambulance strikes could put lives at risk tomorrow.
Nurses and ambulances are set to go on strike for the first time on February 6 in the NHS’s biggest ever strike.
It is not long since the country was brought to a standstill by industrial action disrupting trains, schools and public services.
The business secretary said the ambulance strikers’ refusal to reveal where strikes will be canceled has turned the situation into a “zip code lottery”.
He added: “Unfortunately, the ambulance unions have refused to provide information, putting the army in a very difficult position.
“It’s a zip code lottery when it comes to having a heart attack or a stroke.”
Shapps also warned that the lowest paid, such as cleaners and hospital workers who cannot work from home, will be hardest hit by train strikes.
More than 88,000 appointments across the NHS have been postponed in England due to strikes in recent weeks, health leaders have warned.
Unions are struggling in disputes over wages and working conditions amid the cost-of-living crisis for their members, with wage offers still below inflation, which is still above 10 per cent.
Thousands of nurses already picketed in January but their next strike will coincide with a new strike by GMB ambulances.
Nurses’ action is also being extended to 77 NHS trusts.
The winter of unrest showed little sign of abating with four new ambulance strikes beginning tomorrow.
The other ambulance strike dates are February 20 and March 6 and 20.
Shapps was appointed business secretary by Rishi Sunak in October last year.
He previously served as transport secretary under Boris Johnson’s government from 2019 to 2022, but was sacked when Liz Truss became prime minister in September last year
Despite this, Shapps briefly served as Truss’ home secretary in her final days as Prime Minister.
https://www.the-sun.com/health/7312117/fears-ambulance-strikes-lives-risk-walkout/ Fears ambulance strikes will put lives at risk after unions refuse to reveal which areas will walkout