Ambulance strikes 2022: where in England and Wales are ambulance workers striking? Map and list of NHS Trusts

Thousands of 999 call handlers, ambulance technicians, paramedics and their colleagues working for ambulance services are calling for better pay

Ambulance workers in the GMB union have suspended a planned post-Christmas strike after “amazing” public support for industrial action this week.

Members of the union were due to walk out on 28 December in an increasingly bitter dispute over pay and staffing, but next week’s action has now been called off after receiving “amazing” support from the public.

The GMB said there was “incredible” public backing during industrial action by the union and members of Unite and Unison on Wednesday (21 December), and said it wants to show “we care so much about them too”.

Rachel Harrison, GMB national secretary, said: “We are overwhelmed by Wednesday’s amazing public support for our paramedics and ambulance staff. People across the country have been wonderful in backing us and we care so much about them too.

“That’s why we are suspending the proposed GMB industrial action on December 28. We know the public will appreciate being able to enjoy Christmas without any additional anxiety. They support us and we support them.”

She added: “The workforce crisis in our NHS is so severe and our commitment to getting ambulance staff the proper pay they deserve is stronger than ever, so we are scheduling a further date for action on January 11 2023.

“The incredible British public are why we are suspending our action over the Christmas period. But it also means the Government can now do what ambulance workers and the public want – get round the table and talk pay now. We are here 24/7. Any time, any place. Over to you, (Health Secretary) Steve Barclay. Everyone is waiting.”

Ambulance workers from three unions have been staging strike action this week over pay and staffing issues. GMB, Unison and Unite have said its NHS members, including ambulance staff, paramedics and other NHS workers, have voted to strike in a bid to secure better pay.

Here’s what you need to know about further strike action and where walkouts will take place.

Why are ambulance workers going on strike?

Thousands of ambulance workers and other NHS staff walked out on strike on 21 December in a row over pay and staffing issues. The GMB, Unison and Unite are coordinated industrial action across England and Wales after accusing the government of ignoring pleas for a decent wage rise.

More than 10,000 ambulance workers across in England and Wales who are members of the GMB union went on strike at the following nine trusts:

  • South West Ambulance Service
  • South East Coast Ambulance Service
  • North West Ambulance Service
  • South Central Ambulance Service
  • North East Ambulance Service
  • East Midlands Ambulance Service
  • West Midlands Ambulance Service
  • Welsh Ambulance Service
  • Yorkshire Ambulance Service

Ms Harrison said earlier this week: “After 12 years of Conservative cuts to the service and their pay packets, NHS staff have had enough. The last thing they want to do is take strike action but the government has left them with no choice.

“Health Secretary Steve Barclay needs to listen and engage with us about pay. If he can’t talk to us about this most basic workforce issue, what on Earth is he Health Secretary for? The government could stop this strike in a heartbeat – but they need to wake up and start negotiating on pay.”

More than 1,600 members of Unite at the West Midlands, North West and North East ambulance service trusts joined the walkout. It said the action is a “stark warning” to the government that it must stem the “crisis” engulfing the NHS.

Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, said: “Make no mistake, we are now in the fight of our lives for the very NHS itself. These strikes are a stark warning – our members are taking a stand to save our NHS from this government. Patients’ lives are already at risk but this government is sitting on the sidelines, dodging its responsibility to sort out the crisis that it has created.

“Ministers can’t keep hiding behind the pay review body. They know full well it does not address the desperate need to get huge numbers of NHS workers off the breadline. Fail to act now to avert these strikes and the blame will rest firmly at the Government’s door.”

Throughout the strike, Unite said it would maintain essential emergency cover for patients. Unite continues to ballot 10,000 more NHS workers at 38 different employers across England and Wales, with the results expected later this month.

Ambulance workers across England are set to strike before Christmas (Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Ambulance crews in Unison working for five services in England also staged strike action:

  • London Ambulance Service
  • Yorkshire Ambulance Service
  • North West Ambulance Service
  • North East Ambulance Service
  • South West Ambulance Service
Thousands of 999 call handlers, ambulance technicians, paramedics and their colleagues working for ambulance services will strike

Unison’s strike involved paramedics, emergency care assistants, ambulance technicians and other 999 crew members, with ambulance workers also joined by Unison nurses, porters, healthcare assistants, cleaners and other NHS workers at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital and Liverpool University Hospital.

Unison’s head of health Sara Gorton said earlier this week: “The government will only have itself to blame if there are strikes in the NHS before Christmas. Ambulance staff and their health colleagues don’t want to inconvenience anyone but ministers are refusing to do the one thing that could prevent disruption – that’s start genuine talks about pay.

“Wages are too low to stop health workers quitting the NHS. As more and more hand in their notice, there are fewer staff left to care for patients. The public knows that’s the reason behind lengthy waits at A&E, growing ambulances delays, postponed operations and cancelled clinics.

“Threatened NHS strikes in Scotland were called off because ministers there understand higher wages and improved staffing levels go hand in hand. Unfortunately, the penny’s yet to drop for the Westminster government.”

Unison is also about to begin reballoting around 13,000 NHS staff working for 10 trusts and ambulance services in England where turnout in the recent strike vote fell just short of the threshold required by law.

Health workers belonging to Unison and working in Northern Ireland have already voted to take action over pay and staffing. In Scotland, Unison is recommending its NHS members vote to accept the latest offer from the Scottish government, which will see a £2,205 increase for the lowest paid staff, and more for those on higher bands. In Wales, the threshold necessary for strike action was not met anywhere, and its health committee is to meet to decide on its next steps.

Are other NHS staff going on strike?

Earlier this month, members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) voted to stage a mass walkout in December. Nurses in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will strike on 15 and 20 December in a dispute over pay.

Up to 100,000 nurses and other nursing staff will take action at half of the locations in England, while there will be strike action at every NHS employer in Wales except one and throughout Northern Ireland. The Scottish government has made a separate pay offer.