GMB Calls For Urgent Meeting With East Of England Ambulance Service To Discuss Delays In Essential Training For Paramedic Staff
Members want to be satisfied that lives are not put at risk at risk across the East of England and that there is no shortfall in staff at the right level of qualifications staffing the ambulances says GMB.
GMB, the unions for ambulance staff, commented on the letter from East of England Ambulance Service (EEAS) NHS Trust advising staff about the delay to the student paramedic programme that leads to eligibility to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professional Council (HCPC). See notes to editors for copy of the letter to students.
Tony Hughes, GMB Regional Officer, said “Managers at the East of England Ambulance Service should be ashamed of themselves for letting this happen
The Trust should have made sure that the training places were in place before employing new staff without a clear path for them to get qualified as paramedics. It is unbelievable that EEAS are trying to wash their hand and blaming the training provider.
The Trust should have gone through a process of due diligence. However it would seem that the management do their plans on the back of a fag packet. New staff will have to wait much longer to be qualified. GMB want to be satisfied that this situation does not put lives at risk across the East of England and that there is no shortfall in staff with the right level of qualifications staffing the ambulances.
Our members tell us that due to shortages student paramedics are often send out on their own as there are not enough mentors to go around. GMB student members are concerned that they and the services users could be put at risk when they are sent to calls above their skills level whilst the Trust chases targets. We are seeking an urgent meeting with the Trust to discuss these concerns.”
Contact: Tony Hughes 07738 958142 or Warren Kenny 07843 632 394 or GMB press office 07974 251 823 or 07921 289880
Notes to editors
Copy of letter to students from East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust:
East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust,
Training & Education Department,
Melbourn Training Centre,
Cambridgeshire. SG8 6EN
1st June 2015
Since we launched our new student paramedic programme we have commissioned two Universities to deliver the programme that leads to eligibility to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professional Council (HCPC), Anglia Ruskin University and the University of East Anglia. It was the responsibility of the Universities to gain the appropriate approvals. Both Universities have been developing their course and are working with the HCPC, the body that has to review and approve the course. Unfortunately the feedback to the Universities is that both courses require more work and it is likely neither University will be able to commence the programme until January 2016 at the earliest. If this plan changes we will let you know but without approval we cannot progress you on to the next stage of your studies.
This does not affect the development undertaken within the Trust or your ability to work after successfully completing it. It is imperative this is continued and completed to the highest standard to provide appropriate evidence of study and clinical practice. This will be used by the Universities to gain access to their programmes. We have been looking to see if other education providers can meet the HCPC requirements quicker or have an already approved programme that we can use and we should have more information on this in the next two weeks. We appreciate that this is disappointing but we are working hard to resolve this and will provide an update in the next two weeks. Our aim is to enable you to progress on your paramedic pathway as quickly as possible and we will be in discussions with UNISON to ensure the right supportive measures are in place for you. We are working very hard to ensure that we have options and solutions to support you.
A student group has recently met with Sandy Brown, Director of Nursing, who took a note of their questions and committed to ensure these are answered. This will be shared as a newsletter containing frequently asked questions.
Initially all students on SP cohorts 01-09 will be contacted in the next two weeks with more details regarding the timescales and options. We will also look to ensure that none of you are placed at any contractual detriment due to this situation.
It is important for us to reinforce to you that your development and that of placing more paramedics on to frontline ambulances remains our top priority as set by our Chief Executive Anthony Marsh. In the meantime if you have any queries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org