Yorkshire ambulance crews were on strike today over a dispute over cuts and union recognition.
Members of Unite who work for the Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust have walked out for 24 hours after the union was de-recognised by bosses, with the union claiming the move came as it raised concerns about plans to make £46 million in savings.
They claim the savings will affect patient safety by bringing in emergency care assistants who will have only a few weeks training, to work alongside paramedics.
Members of other unions at the trust will continue to work normally, and the trust says it has contingency plans in place.
The Yorkshire Ambulance Service said in a statement: “Throughout the 24-hour period of the strike, and the continuous overtime ban that Unite the Union commenced on 26 March 2013, our focus will be on taking steps to maintain operational cover to sustain effective and safe services.
“This action will undoubtedly place strain on our 999 service, and therefore the trust is reminding the public to use the service wisely for patients with serious and life-threatening conditions only during the 24-hour period of industrial action, and asks people to only call 999 for an ambulance in an emergency when it is obvious that someone has a life-threatening or serious illness or injury.”
Unite regional officer Terry Cunliffe said the union had asked for talks over Easter to try to avert the strike.