Fresh ambulance strike planned on Wednesday after talks stall

AMBULANCE workers will go on strike again this week in an ongoing row over pay and conditions.

The GMB union said the walkout would go ahead on Wednesday despite  talks with health secretary Steve Barclay today.

Ambulance staff held two one-day strikes on December 21 and 28 and more than 10,000 are due to take further action this week.

Rachel Harrison, the GMB’s national secretary, said: “Today’s talks fell well short of anything substantial that could stop this week's strikes.  

“There was some engagement on pay, but not a concrete offer that could help resolve this dispute and make significant progress on the recruitment and retention crisis.

“The public expects the Government to treat these talks seriously — it’s time they got on with it.”

Mr Barclay today hosted a round meeting with representatives from the NHS Staff Council, NHS Employers, Unison, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists, the Royal College of Nursing, Unite, GMB and the Royal College of Midwives.

He said the government would welcome the group’s input into the independent pay review process for 2023/24 and “what is affordable” and was keen “to work together to attract, retain and motivate talented people and identify opportunities on efficiency and productivity, such as reducing agency spend”.

Mr Barclay had requested further discussions on ideas to make the health service work better and save staff time, that could unlock additional funding, said the Department of Health and Social Care, adding that the health secretary was keen “to continue a dialogue on this in the coming days as we all want to see a resolution and the more we can work together constructively to find common ground, the better”.