Thousands of emergency staff took industrial action on Monday with Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust urging the public to only dial 999 in life-threatening situations.
Front line staff, such as emergency ambulances and 999 call handling, took action as part of a national pay dispute with the government.
Negotiations between GMB representatives and the Yorkshire Ambulance service allowed exemptions to be put in place for emergency cases.
The union membership for Yorkshire makes up 1,370 staff of the 7,000 staff workforce. The Trust covers 6,000 square miles, including the moors all the way to the city.
Speaking before Monday’s strike action, Nick Smith, Executive Director of Operations at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust warned the public on the delays to the service. He said: “We will have less resources available to respond to patients.”
“We also ask that people seek help and advice from alternative healthcare providers, including NHS 111 Online (111.nhs.uk), their own GP or by visiting a pharmacist.”
Nevertheless, he believed there would be minimal disruption to the non-emergency Patient Transport Service.
One incident yesterday which saw ambulance crews responding involved television journalist Dan Walker.
While cycling in the morning, he was hit by a car, but told social media users that ‘nothing was broken’.
Dan thanked NHS staff for their work on Twitter, personally thanking the paramedics in the ambulance and the A&E staff who helped his recovery.
“Jamie & Shaun were so great in the ambulance – not sure I was making much sense 😂 Thanks to Conor the copper, Charlotte in x-ray & Hannah (below) for being so considerate & brilliant in such a busy A&E.”
Credit: Twitter @mrdanwalker
There is quite a positive consensus in Sheffield following the strikes. With the public sending messages of solidarity online.
‘The Good Life – We’re Society’ user on Facebook said: “They put their lives in danger every day for the people. The Government should take care of them.”
Steve Bower, 52, accountant, visiting Sheffield said: “They need the money basically, the pays been frozen for quite a long time, they need the money in order to support themselves.”
And Dan Bower, 18, a student, added: “The government will have to act.”