Altar Blasted to ‘Demonize’ Ambulance Workers to Justify Strike Pressure

Ambulance paramedics are on the strike line.

Ambulance paramedics are on the strike line.

Ambulance paramedics are on the strike line.

Outraged ambulance workers accused ministers of “deviling” emergency service personnel as the government sought to enact new anti-strike laws.

Paramedics and other members of the GMB union said in a letter to the prime minister that they were “appalled” by some of the statements. Rishi AltarHe said his government was in recent days and “targeting ambulance workers for a deliberate attack is a disgrace”.

He writes: “We feel utterly betrayed by the way your government segregated ambulance workers as part of a brutish attempt to take away our right to strike.

“You and your ministers should be ashamed for trying to portray us as reckless with safety standards – nothing could be further from the truth.”

Another ambulance staff strike is scheduled for January 23, after 25,000 workers went out of work Wednesday, with further action planned.

business secretary Grant Shapps He claimed that ambulance workers risked lives by not accepting the so-called minimum service levels during the recent industrial action.

The letter continued, saying it wasn’t the ambulance workers’ fault that the service was in crisis, and that there had been delays months before the strikes.

He added: “NHS workers like us have saved the country from the pandemic and we are currently doing our best to deal with the crisis in the NHS, this is something your government is chairing and must take responsibility for.

“We want to have a constructive relationship with the government to talk about fees and seriously improve conditions throughout the ambulance service.

“But you make us and our ambulance colleagues feel like demons. Please talk to us and our unions. And now stop attacking us.

The new anti-strike laws are designed to make industrial action illegal if unions refuse to provide a minimum level of service.

This is a response to the crippling wave of strikes that swept England as nurses, ambulance staff and railway workers all argue with the government over pay and working conditions.

The new figures show that ambulance response times and A&E waits are now at record levels.

In December, the average response time for category one calls, defined as life-threatening illness or injuries such as cardiac or respiratory arrest, was 10 minutes 57 seconds.

It was set at a seven-minute goal and marks the worst performance on record.

For category two calls, which may include heart attacks and strokes, average response times reached an hour and a half – more than 50% higher than the previous record level.

NHS England figures also show that a record 54,532 people waited more than 12 hours to be admitted to A&E after being referred.

Meanwhile, the proportion of patients seen within the four-hour target time fell to a record low of 65% in December.

The numbers reveal the severe pressures the NHS has faced this winter, as health care is grappling with a surge in flu cases and an almost record 111 calls.


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