Sunak urges unions to call off NHS strikes as report recommends using reservists not troops in crises

Warning armed forces ‘cannot be the first port of call whenever an emergency hits’

Kate Devlin
Monday 19 December 2022 18:15 GMT
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Latvia Joint Expeditionary Force
Latvia Joint Expeditionary Force (WPA Rota)

Rishi Sunak has urged unions to call off the next wave of NHS strikes for the sake of their patients as it emerged army reservists, not troops, could be called up to deal with future strikes.

Some 1,300 troops are being deployed this week to help cope with the fallout from strike action – more than were involved in giving the public Covid vaccinations in early 2021.

But a new 79-page report on resilience warns personnel “cannot be the first port of call whenever an emergency hits” because of the pressures they are already facing at home and abroad.

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