09:40am And our first visit of the day to a picket line – in the North West.
09:25am After health secretary Steve Barclay used an article in today’s Daily Telegraph to state that: “We now know that the NHS contingency plans will not cover all 999 calls. Ambulance unions have made a conscious choice to inflict harm on patients”, UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea and assistant general secretary Jon Richards responded in shock at the claims.
09:05am There are strict laws on picketing during industrial action and the union could be heavily fined if these are broken.
But there are plenty of way in which non-striking members and any other supporters can show their solidarity with strikers today.
08:55am Good morning all. As UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea tweeted last night, today’s strikes are going ahead. “I had hoped the government would move on pay, to get this dispute resolved, but their position is still fixed. We have no option but to continue with our strike action and consider more action in January.”
So, at 7.30am this morning, “nurses, porters, HCAs, cleaners and other NHS staff at the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital and Royal Liverpool University Hospital took brave action and started their 24hr strike over pay and staffing,” continued Ms McAnea.
We will be updating this rolling report throughout the day, so check back to find out what’s going on.