Hospital and ambulance staff unite in four hour walkout over pay rise
- Credit: Ashleigh Coules
Workers from all areas of the NHS united on the picket line this morning in a strike over pay.
Staff at Queen’s and King George’s Hospital took part in the four hour walkout between 7 and 11am, as did ambulance staff.
Midwives at Barking Birthing Centre also took part in the strike, the first in the profession’s history.
Ashleigh Coules, a community nurse from Dagenham, was one of 50 workers on the picket line outside Romford ambulance station.
She said: “The strike is important because we were given a one per cent pay rise and it was taken away from us.
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“We had really good support from people driving past honking their horns and those who were walking by that stopped to talk to us.
“It was a really good turnout considering it was cold and raining all morning.”
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Across the capital, just 23 per cent of ambulance crews were working during the walkout.
That did not stop those who needed urgent assistance in life threatening situations from receiving the treatment they needed, but others were asked to make their own way to hospital.
Director of operations, Jason Killens, said: “Our plans worked well and we would like to thank all our staff who came to work and those who responded to patients in a critical situation from the picket line.”
A spokesman for NHS England said: “NHS organisations have tried and tested plans to deal with a range of disruptions including industrial action. Our main priority is to protect the safety, welfare and service provided to patients.”
NHS workers will also be taking part in action short of a strike until Friday, involving not working any overtime and taking breaks instead of working through them.
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