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On the picket line with the GMB and Unite

I was proud to stand with Unite and GMB local ambulance and patient transport services in Sandwell as they are fighting for more pay.

These workers do everything from making sure severely disabled and unwell people safely make their health appointments to taking people back home from hospital for their last journey at the end of life.

Yet some are paid less than £20,000 a year and can’t support their families if they stay in these vital jobs.

We got lots of beeps of support from drivers going past us on Kelvin Way.

This is one part of a crisis in our NHS, and particularly our ambulance services in the West Mids.

Ambulances should arrive at Category 1 – the most serious, life threatening incidents such as cardiac arrests – in seven minutes on average. In December 2022, the West Midlands Ambulance Service average response time was 9 minutes 14 seconds. For Category 2 emergencies, such as someone having a stroke, the average wait time in December was over an hour and a half. Ambulance workers are overstretched and understaffed, and it is costing lives.


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