Thousands of ambulance workers across the UK are to walk out today in fresh strikes following the rejection of the latest pay offer by unions.
Widespread disruption is expected as more than 11,000 members of the both the GMB and Unite unions at seven of the 10 ambulance service trusts in England – including in the North West – are, once again, staging strike action for 24-hours today, which means fewer ambulances on the road and fewer call handlers answering 999 calls.
On top of this, ambulance dispatchers and drivers in our Patient Transport Service will also be going on strike today.
As there continues to be unrest in many industries and sectors of the economy nationwide, the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) has issued a statement explaining which calls its services will be “prioritised” during the industrial action today.
“We need the public to only call 999 in life-threatening emergencies to ensure resources are available for the patients who really need us,” the NWAS said in its appeal.
“To be clear, ambulances will still be available, but they will be prioritised for those life and limb emergencies, so other patients will likely be asked to make their own way to hospital or advised where else to seek help.”
The NWAS has confirmed it will be supported by the military and by private and volunteer ambulance services during the strike action today.
In a bid to “ensure the safety of patients”, the NWAS has also said that senior clinicians will be based in all its control rooms across the region to oversee incoming 999 calls and make decisions on responses based on clinical need.
“This is the ninth day we have faced some form of strike action in the service,” Ged Blezard from the NWAS said of today’s walkouts.
“So far, we have coped reasonably well. However, I understand there are only so many times that the public will listen to our messages, therefore it’s important to stress that one of the reasons we are able to get to people who need us on strike days is that we receive fewer calls, so it’s vital that the public continue to behave as they are.
“Please only call 999 in a life-threatening emergency.”
Typical emergencies the NWAS says services will be prioritised for today include cardiac arrest, loss of consciousness, fits that aren’t stopping, breathing difficulties, severe bleeding, allergic reactions, and serious head injuries.
If hospital treatment is required, the NWAS said patients should also consider taking alternative transport – such as a taxi, or getting a lift from family or friends.
Equally, they should use 111.nhs.uk their GP or local pharmacy for help with “non-urgent health concerns”.
Mr Blezard also stressed the importance that people don’t repeat-call 999 to “ask for updates on where your ambulance is”, adding that they should “only call us back if your condition has worsened or to cancel the ambulance as we need to keep lines free for other emergencies”.
“We are hoping for a resolution to the dispute, but ultimately, this is a matter for the government and trade unions to settle,” he concluded.
Rudy’s is opening a new pizzeria and pizza school in the former Dawson’s Music site
A year on from the initial news that Rudy’s would be taking over the old Dawson’s Music site on Portland Street, bosses behind the chain of neighbourhood pizzerias have finally hinted towards the new site’s opening date.
Revealing it is set to open in Manchester city centre this spring, they also shared the news that the new 8,000sqft location will be home, not just to another restaurant, but also to Rudy’s very own pizza school.
Billed as a ‘world-class destination for pizzaiolo talent’, the new pizza academy will take just over half the space – providing a structured training programme to both experienced pizza chefs and novices. It is set to welcome over 100 pizza chefs in this first year.
The restaurant, meanwhile, will span the rest with room for 120 covers. It will be Rudy’s sixth pizza restaurant in Manchester.
The new location at Portland Street will also be the HQ for Rudy’s Bake at Home, back by popular demand.
Serving the perfect and classic Neapolitan pizza since 2015 from its original Rudy’s in Ancoats, the acclaimed pizzeria has since opened 16 sites across the UK, with the new 120-cover pizzeria in Portland Street being its sixth location in Manchester.
Born out of passion for pizza, Rudy’s follows the authentic Neapolitan tradition of pizza making, serving classic recipes such as Marinara, Margherita and Calabrese – all originating from Naples, the birthplace of pizza.
Rudy’s has been praised by many as one of the best pizzerias in the UK, it is renowned for its consistency and quality in Neapolitan pizza making. On a mission to pave the way in pizza making all accordance to a truly authentic Neapolitan technique, Rudy’s is proud to open Rudy’s Pizza Academy at the new Portland Street location.
Jos Goncalves, manager at Rudy’s Portland Street, said: “We are delighted to announce that our next Rudy’s pizzeria will be located on Manchester’s bustling Portland Street.
Manchester has been home to the Rudy’s famiglia since we first opened in Ancoats in 2015, and we can’t wait to open our latest pizzeria, with the addition of our first Pizza Academy in the city this spring”.
Featured image – Rudy’s
Watch as Ed Sheeran debuts new music for the first time ever at ‘intimate’ Manchester gig
Now normally, when an artist chooses to take some brand new material out on tour for the first time, they’ll test the waters with a few intimate shows.
Just recently, we’ve had both Fall Out Boy and Blossoms at Band on the Wall, The 1975 at Gorilla, and Jason Manford in a beer garden.
But for Ed Sheeran, his idea of ‘intimate’ is… the AO Arena. That super cosy 21,000-capacity venue. Ah.
After selling out FOUR nights at the Etihad Stadium last summer, though, the chance to see Ed on stage in an arena again is a novel one, and it sold out the venue in minutes.
The ‘Shape of You’ singer announced this surprise arena tour just weeks before he took to the stage, in support of his upcoming sixth album Subtract.
This mini tour kicked off in Manchester last night – meaning our city got to hear new track ‘Eyes Closed’ live for the first time ever.
You can watch the highlights from Ed Sheeran at the AO Arena in the video below