SERVICES at Dewsbury District Hospital could be further hit by industrial action by ambulance workers.
An overtime ban starts from Tuesday and a one-day strike is to take place on April 2 following a ballot of Unite members. The vote was called after Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust bosses decided to â€˜de-recogniseâ€™ Unite.
It came after a row between Unite and trust management over cost-cutting plans, which union officials claim will put patients at risk.
Paramedics are to be sent out with â€˜semi-skilled care assistantsâ€™ with just six weeksâ€™ training in a bid to save Â£46m a year.
The union balloted its 450 paramedic and ambulance staff, with 61.8 per cent in favour of strike action and 38.2 per cent against.
Eighty-three per cent of members voted in favour of industrial action short of a strike, while 17 per cent were against. Unite regional officer Terry Cunliffe blamed the trust and said: â€œThey refused to meet with us under any circumstances.
â€œThey said they were prepared for any industrial dispute and would manage it. Faced with that attitude, what are our members to do?â€
The trustâ€™s deputy chief executive, Stephen Moir, said: â€œThe changes we are introducing will enable us to continue to deliver a high-quality service. We would also like to reassure the public that the trust has plans in place to avoid any disruption to patient care.â€