UNISON slams proposed cuts to front line ambulance services
UNISON officers have been informed by East of England Ambulance Trust of plans to reduce the number of staff and vehicles delivering emergency response services across the East of England. Management state that the changes are as a result of government spending cuts of approximately £50 million over the next few years. The Trust has held a number of vacancies and have already removed 110 posts and intend to remove up to a further 150 posts from the budgeted establishment.
Although there are no ambulance stations closing as a direct result of these changes they will result in there being fewer or no ambulances capable of transporting patients at several stations across all counties within the region at certain times of the day and night.
The changes will result in a smaller number of transportable ambulances in every county, including:
· Bedfordshire: A 25% reduction in Kempston
· Cambridgeshire: A 50% reduction in Ely
· Essex: Stanstead will lose one transportable ambulance
· Hertfordshire: A 80% reduction in Watford
· Norfolk: North Walsham will lose one transportable ambulance and Cromer will experience a 50% reduction
· Suffolk: A 50% reduction in Bury St Edmunds
Gary Applin, Branch Secretary, East of England Ambulance Service UNISON said ‘’the proposed scaling down of resources across all areas will put patients at risk. The Trust’s own figures show that in many areas, staffing levels will be below what is needed for many hours of the day. In rural areas, patients will wait for longer for any member of Trust staff to attend in an emergency and even then it is likely that will be a solo responder and therefore incapable of transporting them straight to hospital”
He continued, “These changes will also have a detrimental effect on the work life balance of our members who may be required to travel longer distances to work, and, while at work have to travel longer distances under emergency conditions on unfamiliar roads to get to people in need. UNISON represents all Trust employees and we urge Trust management to develop alternative proposals and the Conservative/Lib Dem government to reverse the spending cuts for Ambulance Trusts. The public are going to suffer because of these cuts.’’
For more information contact:
Tim Roberts, UNISON Regional Organiser 07432 150523
Gary Applin, Branch Secretary, East of England Ambulance UNISON Branch 07508 111191
Not a member?
If you're not a member of a union, join one now! Union members get a better deal at work all round. To find out more go to Join UNISON?