Two more days of strike action at Yorkshire Ambulance Service

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Paramedics are preparing for two more strikes in a dispute over changes to shift patterns at Yorkshire Ambulance Service.

Members of the Unite union will strike from 3pm-8pm on Friday and at the same time on Monday.

Unite claims that changes to working patterns at the organisation are dangerous and will mean paramedics going 10 hours without a break.

Strike action already took place on February 1 and 3.

Unite regional officer Terry Cunliffe said: “The latest strikes over elongated shift patterns follow the latest refusal of Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust to meet Unite to resolve the dispute.”

Unite was de-recognised by the ambulance service a year ago in a long-running dispute over patient safety which led to strikes in April and June.

The union claims £46m of budget cuts at the organisation will put patients in danger - but ambulance bosses have accused the union of making misleading claims.

Today, Unite called for an independent investigation by health watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to find out if patient safety is being compromised.

Mr Cunliffe added: “We would welcome an independent enquiry by the CQC to determine whether it is Unite or the trust’s executives who are misleading the public about the facts in this dispute, including the reason for Unite’s de-recognition, patient safety and whether the trust’s plan is focused on patient care or is just a five-year, £46m cost-cutting exercise.”