THURROCK ambulance bosses have praised staff after the Monday strikes by health workers.
Dr Marsh, Trust Chief Executive, said: “I would like to thank all our staff for their continuous and ongoing commitment today during the industrial action, including working under exemption. We appreciate it is a difficult position to take; however it does enable us to provide the best care possible for patients.
“We’re aware of cases where those taking full strike action responded to potentially life-threatened patients which is very encouraging.
“It is of vital importance that we ensure as far as possible our service, and more importantly our patients, do not suffer as a result of this national issue. In the hours following the strike, we’re returning to ‘business as usual’ as quickly as possible and I’d like to thank the public and patients for their support today.”
About 14% of the service’s frontline workforce on duty went on full strike, with a further 31% working under exemptions meaning they still responded to our most seriously ill patients
Demand was at a level slightly higher than average at just under 6%, but we were able to provide cover with no outstanding issues
Average response times for the period were increased as expected but in the hours following the strike, we are getting back to normal staff levels and ‘business and usual’ for a Monday
Fraer Stevenson, UNISON Branch Secretary said: “NHS staff care deeply about their patients, and taking part in industrial action is a very difficult thing.
“We worked closely with the ambulance trust to provide exemptions that many staff chose to work under, ensuring we could still respond to patients needing an emergency response.
"It’s evident from the huge amount of support shown to staff today; the public hold the ambulance service in high regard for the difficult and vital roles we undertake. I hope the government reconsiders their stance over refusing to accept the pay review recommendations, and enters into meaningful talks with UNISON to resolve this dispute.”