Just 1pc of staff at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital took part in Monday’s NHS strike

Staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital on the picket line on Monday morning. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital on the picket line on Monday morning. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

Just one percent of staff at the region's biggest hospital took part in a nationwide NHS strike over pay on Monday morning.

The walkout - sparked by the government's refusal to give all NHS workers a 1pc pay rise - saw workers across Norfolk and Suffolk strike from 7am to 11am.

But at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (N&N) just 75 out of almost 7,000 workers took part - just over 1pc of the workforce.

'A small number of appointments were made later in the day to avoid the morning's industrial action,' a hospital spokesman said. A total of 25 appointments were rearranged.

There was a better turnout at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn where 150 staff walked out, while 13pc of workers took part at the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston.

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At the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds, 24 staff took part in the strike and a spokesman said disruption was 'minimal'.

At the East of England Ambulance Service Trust, crews manning 83 of the 130 vehicles covering Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire walked out, but they did still respond to emergency calls.

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Fraer Stevenson, Unison branch secretary for the ambulance service, said: 'In many ambulance trusts, including East of England, the number one sickness complaint is stress. We are under enormous pressure; to then be told by the government, you're not worth the 1pc pay increase the independent pay review recommended is hugely demoralising for staff.'

A Department of Health spokesman said: 'NHS staff are our greatest asset and we want to make the current pay system fairer.

'We have taken tough decisions to increase the NHS budget but we can't afford a consolidated pay rise in addition to increments without risking 10,000 frontline jobs.'

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