Ambulance staff are threatening to strike in a row over whether they should be paid during their meal breaks.

South East Coast Ambulance Service (Secamb) staff in Sussex are currently not paid while they take half hour breaks.

They currently clock off for their lunch breaks while workers in other parts of the trust's area can have their dinner breaks interrupted if an emergency call comes in.

Staff in Kent and Surrey called upon to work their breaks are then paid for the extra work.

Paramedics and drivers in Sussex have expressed concern that as a result staff are working their whole shift without a break.

They have said lives could be put at risk if staff perform poorly because they are tired or hungry.

Staff have been asked their views by unions and the results of the ballot are due this week.

But unions have warned that if they cannot reach an agreement, staff could go out on strike.

They said strikes would only be considered as a last resort and would be unlikely to take place until late March.

South East Coast Ambulance Service declined to comment to The Argus.