READER LETTER: Paramedics - Problems need sorting

08-2798-1''Kingsmill Ambulance Station feature.
08-2798-1''Kingsmill Ambulance Station feature.

A report just out is saying a 1,000 paramedics have left the ambulance service between April 2014 and March 2015, when only 566 left the service between 2010 and 2011.

A survey done by the GMB, Unison and Unite unions is saying the amount of people leaving the ambulance service is accelerating, with as many as three-quarters of the staff saying they are going to leave the service.

If this is so, the question must be asked why is this happening and what is the governing body doing about it?

Is it the pay, is it the pressure that the staff are under, is it the responsibility of the job has increased, or is it the poor working conditions?

Whatever the problems are, they need addressing and the ambulance service needs to get together with the workforce representatives and work out a plan of action.

All the employees cannot be wrong and a compromise on the working conditions needs to be negotiated, before the service moves into any further decline.

The survey questioned more than 3,200 paramedics and the findings have shocked many organisations.

The ambulance service is now having to recruit paramedics from as far as Australia and New Zealand.

Paramedics are saying, although they get a premium payment for working anti-social-hours, these bonuses do not reflect their skills and responsibilities for doing the job. A representative of the paramedics has said the workforce are having to do more and more and are being asked to deal with a growing range of medical emergencies.

However, these skills and responsibilities have not been recognised by employees or the government.

A former employee of the ambulance service who left after 20 years’ service said they never expected to have to leave the service, nor for one minute did they expect to, but the job has changed so much it is now unrecognisable from the service they first joined.

We do have the best NHS in the world, but a quality ambulance service is of paramount importance and we must not forget it.

Councillor John Wilmott

County councillor Representing The Hucknall First Community Forum.