Sick Brits face phoning a friend to ferry them to hospital during tomorrow's ambulance strike | The Sun

THE sick face having to phone a friend to ferry them to hospital during tomorrow’s ambulance strike.

They have again been warned only to call 999 in a life-or-death crisis.

The 24-hour walkout by up to 25,000 Unison and GMB members begins at a minute past midnight.

The action across most of England and Wales is set to hit harder than last month’s strike, with control room staff now joining paramedics on the picket lines.

Troops are on standby to drive some ambulances.

Health Secretary Steve Barclay said he will hold talks with Chancellor Jeremy Hunt about union proposals to backdate next year’s pay settlement — raising hopes of a breakthrough.


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But tensions between the Government and unions are high after ministers introduced new anti-strike laws.

They set minimum levels of service which must be met during strikes.

Business Secretary Grant Shapps brought forward the powers, which he said would stop “putting lives at risk”.

He said Brits currently face a postcode lottery if they need an ambulance as voluntary minimum service agreements are in place in some parts of the country but not others.

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Unions claimed the proposed laws would “poison” relations and lead to even more walkouts.

NHS bosses said people should make their own way to hospital today or use other services like 111.

Miriam Deakin from NHS Providers said: “With more staff expected to strike this time, the NHS is in an even more precarious position.”

Unions last night held talks about a possible day of coordinated action, at the TUC HQ in Central London.

However, the nursing union reportedly indicated it would not join such action.

The TUC is to hold a national “protect the right to strike” day on February 1 in response to the new laws.

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