PARAMEDICS across Wiltshire could soon be on strike as three south coast ambulance trusts are facing industrial action over 'poverty pay'.

This comes as GMB members say they are at 'breaking point' after facing another year of not being able to cover their bills.

The three vital services are now gearing up for a strike vote as the union launches a formal industrial action ballot on behalf of its 3,500 members across the trusts.

Ballot dates for South Western Ambulance Service (SWAST), South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) and South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAMB) will be announced in the coming days.

SWAST covers 20 per cent of mainland England including Wiltshire, Dorset Gloucestershire and Somerset. The Trust serves a total population of over 5.5 million and is estimated to receive an influx of over 23 million visitors each year.

The vote follows a consultative ballot which saw over 90 per cent of GMB members decide in favour of a walk out over poverty pay.

These workers are angry over the government’s imposed 4 per cent pay award which they say leaves them facing yet another massive real terms pay cut.

GMB Union has now announced formal strike ballots in all 10 ambulance trusts in England.

Lib Whitfield, GMB regional organiser, said: “The service being provided by ambulance trusts across the country has been chronically underfunded and staff have for too long been at breaking point with no sign of anything changing.

“Recent CQC reports have been less than complimentary to the management of these services and it is only thanks to the goodwill of the overworked and undervalued crews that the service continues to be as responsive as it is.

“GMB members are at breaking point and another year of not being able to pay their bills is a step too far for many.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We are giving over 1 million NHS workers a pay rise of at least £1,400 this year, as recommended by the independent NHS Pay Review Body.

“Industrial action is a matter for unions, and we urge them to carefully consider the potential impacts on patients.”