AMBULANCE staff are striking today over changes in shift patterns.

Yorkshire ambulance staff who are members of Unite plan to go on strike for four hours between 3pm and 7pm today over changes to shift patterns which will see them “forced to work 12 hour shifts” or going ten hours without a break.

On Saturday members also went out on a 24-hour strike.

Terry Cunliffe, from Unite, said: “Our members are taking action as they are very concerned about the scale of these changes and how they will impact on patient safety in Yorkshire.

The shift patterns are not family friendly and will lead to an overtired workforce.”

However, the move has been condemned by the Yorkshire Ambulance Service, describing the decision as reckless and ‘neglectful’ of patient care.

Unite ambulance members previously took strike action on April 2 and June 7 over concerns regarding patient safety. Chief executive of YAS, David Whiting said: “We continue to refute the misleading and factually incorrect claims being made by Unite the Union around patient safety.”

YAS said the strike could involve around eight per cent of the total staff employed by the Trust, with more members understood to be in West and South Yorkshire than in North Yorkshire.