Emergency staff have been protesting outside ambulance centres as part of strike action over a pay dispute.

Crews have been seen waving union flags across Brighton and Sussex as part of the GMB union walk out of staff.

The strike comes after NHS Sussex issued warnings that services would be affected by depleted staff numbers. Patients are being asked to think before seeking emergency treatment and to make use of services such as NHS 111.

The Argus: Ambulance staff on strike in PolegateAmbulance staff on strike in Polegate (Image: Sussex News and Pictures)

A picket line in Polegate included several emergency staff members holding orange flags and placards with slogans such as “food banks in half of NHS Trusts” and “one in three paramedics seen deaths from delays”.

Similar scenes took place outside Worthing ambulance station where flags were waved by members of the GMB union.

The Argus: Striking workers in WorthingStriking workers in Worthing (Image: Sussex News and Pictures)

Elsewhere, in Brighton, many ambulances were left un-used as over 3,500 staff members went on strike across NHS trusts on the south coast.

Unions are seeking improvements on a proposed four per cent pay rise for staff which has been called a real term pay cut due to the cost-of-living crisis.

The Argus: Ambulances on a ramp in BrightonAmbulances on a ramp in Brighton (Image: Sussex News and Pictures)

Rachel Harrison, national secretary of GMB, said: "The public expects the Government to treat this dispute seriously – it's time they got on with it.”