NATIONAL Health Service workers go on strike from 7am today (November 24), as part of a continuing dispute over pay.
Ambulance workers and staff at St Richard’s Hospital, in Chichester, are among those striking for four hours until 11am.
A spokesman from the South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) said the strikes were on national issues relating to pay.
“We have been and continue to be in close discussions with representatives from our trade unions about the action and are committed to ensuring that during the industrial action the impact on patients is kept to a minimum,” he said.
“We would like to reassure the public that, as with any emergency situation, we have robust contingency plans in place to ensure that we continue to provide a safe and responsive service to those people who need us.
“We have agreed plans with our unions to protect patients requiring emergency assistance. These include staff choosing to take part in the industrial action to continuing to provide ‘life and limb’ cover and, in the event of a major incident being declared, all members on picket lines returning to full duties immediately.”
He added people should only use the 999 number to report a serious emergency.
Trade union Unison also announced nurses, midwives and other NHS workers at St Richard’s Hospital would be on strike between 7am-11am today.
Also, from tomorrow (November 25) until Sunday (November 30) St Richard’s staff will take their breaks and not work extra hours for free, according to the union.
Unison has called for a one-per-cent pay rise for its NHS staff.