On Wednesday the GMB union announced four new national strike dates. 

More than 10,000 GMB ambulance workers are set to walk out on February 6, February 20, March 6 and March 20. 

South Western Ambulance Service workers will be joining the strike. Those set to walk out include paramedics, emergency care assistants, call handlers and other staff. 

In a statement the union blamed the government saying: “Cold, dead hands of the Number 10 and 11 Downing Street seem to be stopping pay deal.” 

GMB’s National Secretary Rachel Harrison said in a statement: “Our message to the Government is clear - talk pay now.” 

The fresh announcement marks an escalation of the recent industrial action aimed to improve pay and conditions across a number of sectors. 

The ambulance strikes will come hot on the heels of a “national day of action” slated for February 1 – whereby several major unions have organised coordinated strike action by train drivers, teachers and civil servants.

February’s ambulance strikes will mark the third set of walkouts in as many months, following stoppages in December and January. 

NHS bosses have yet to respond to the latest announcements. 

On the occasion of the most recent ambulance strike NHS chiefs appealed for patients only to call 999 where the medical or mental health emergency involves someone “seriously ill” or with “their life at risk”. 

Responding to the December strikes the Health Secretary Steve Barclay said: “Further pay increases would mean taking money away from frontline services at a time when we are tackling record waiting lists as a result of the pandemic."

The government's position remains unchanged.