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Yorkshire paramedics will lobby the county’s MP’s later today over a long-running ‘patient safety’ dispute.
Paramedics will travel to Westminster to lobby more than 40 MPs to drive home their concerns on the issues of the removal of skilled technicians from Yorkshire ambulances and large scale funding cuts.
Unite will also challenge its derecognition by “hardline” bosses at the Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS trust.
The dispute centres on the trust’s plans to cut the budget by £46 million over the next five years – even though Unite said the ambulance workloads were increasing month-by-month by as much as six per cent.
Unite head of health Rachael Maskell said:
“The lobby is designed to highlight the very real concerns that we have about patient safety in Yorkshire as what the trust proposes means the removal of a number of skilled technician staff from ambulances.
“They are being replaced by emergency care assistant roles (ECAs) who are being given only six weeks training – only half of which is in clinical skills.
“Unite is interested in the backing of Bruce Keogh, the NHS medical director, of a new pilot in Surrey which is promoting more highly qualified paramedics who can treat people on the scene to cut down on emergency hospital admissions. Yorkshire’s plans accelerate the service in the opposite direction of this expert clinical advice.”
The union is calling for more training for the ECAs, so they have the proper skill set to tackle the more demanding tasks now being asked of them.
The union is also increasingly concerned at the continued and increasing use of private ambulance firms to ‘plug the gaps’ in NHS 999 responses.