The public is being urged to act 'wisely' today, February 6, as the NHS faces its biggest strike yet. 

It comes as thousands of nurses and ambulance staff in England walk out to support pay claims. 

The action marks the first time the two groups have staged stoppages on the same day during the current wave of disputes convulsing public services.

Ahead of the strikes, Business Secretary Grant Shapps sparked anger among the ambulance unions when he accused them of putting patient lives at risk by refusing to inform employers of details of their strike action.

Whilst NHS Providers chief executive Sir Julian Hartley said they understood why so many of their staff had reached a “tipping point” as he urged ministers to sit down with unions to thrash out a settlement.

It comes as Sir Julian said that 88,000 appointments had already been cancelled as a result of the current industrial action, hitting patients hard.

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As he said: "We face a very real risk that tens of thousands more patients will have their care disrupted in the coming days by this double whammy of strikes, especially as they’re coming right after a weekend when we know the demand for care tends to build up.”

Who is striking in the NHS?

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) are staging two days of action and has shared that it is calling out twice as many members as it did during earlier strikes in December and January.

Whilst ambulance crews and call handlers will return to work on Tuesday, February 7, but will strike again on Friday, February 10.