Workers in the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) have voted for strike action, marking a significant escalation of a long-running pay and staffing dispute.

UNISON made the announcement on Friday following a re-ballot of thousands of health workers.

The East of England is the only region where no UNISON ambulance workers have walked since the dispute began last December. 

Following the result of the latest ballot, EEAST staff will now be able to take part in industrial action.

UNISON Eastern regional secretary Tim Roberts said: "The public must think the Westminster government is living on another planet.

"They can see how talks in other parts of the UK have lifted the threat of strikes and cannot understand why the prime minister isn’t doing the same.
"East of England Ambulance staff don’t want to stop work, and the public wants an NHS capable of delivering quality care.

"The prime minister must roll up his sleeves, invite the unions into Downing Street and start the genuine pay talks that could end this damaging dispute."