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Patients At Risk

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

GMB South East Coast Ambulance Staff Concerned That Patient Are Put At Risk By New Policy Toward Responding To Emergency Calls 

This is because quite often the response vehicle is not fully equipped to deal with all types of medical emergencies and results in a delay in a fully equipped ambulance being sent says GMB.

An overwhelming majority of GMB staff do not consider that that the South East Coast Ambulance Trust move towards responding to emergency calls by dispatching a single car with a paramedic will meet the increasing needs of the service going forward.

This is because quite often the vehicle is not fully equipped to deal with all types of medical emergencies and results in a delay in a fully equipped ambulance being sent.

This finding is from a GMB membership survey which shows that staff at the Trust have serious concerns about how the service is being operated. See Notes to editors for survey results.

The responses highlight a serious under resourcing of front line services, concern that patient safety is being jeopardised and a culture of fear which prevents staff from speaking out on such issues.

Gary Palmer, GMB Organiser, said “With these survey results GMB members are raising serious issues.

The policy of responding to emergency calls by dispatching a single car with a paramedic for example often leads to dangerous delays and duplication and is less cost effective in the long run. This is because quite often the vehicle is not fully equipped to deal with all types of medical emergencies and results in a delay in a fully equipped ambulance being sent.

Staff feel current policies, procedures and operational pressures are placing patient safety at risk. Worst still there is also a climate of fear where staffs are afraid to speak out on such issues.

The Chief Executive of SECAmb must now take measures to address these concerns. Both staff and the public need to be assured that the service is fit for purpose and that patient safety is not at risk.

Until GMB are convinced that this is the case we will continue with our campaign to highlight the concerns of our members”.

End

Contact: Gary Palmer, GMB Organiser on 07552 165950.  GMB Press Office 07924 251823 or 07921 289 880.

NOTES TO EDITORS:

1. Responses to survey are below:

• Do you feel that the Trust’s move towards a front loaded service model will meet the increasing needs of the service going forward? NO 94.5% YES 5.5%

• Have the Trust got the Current meal break policy right? NO 94.5% YES 5.5%

• Do you have concerns that current working policy’s together with management and operational pressures may result in you possibly placing your registration at Risk? NO 9.5% YES 90.5%

• Do you feel that there is a general cultural fear about speaking out about patient safety and operational workloads within the Trust? NO 7.75% YES 92.25%

• Are you concerned that the ever increasing workloads and shift patterns within SECAmb are leading to a growing detrimental effect upon Patient safety? YES 100%

2. Example comments from survey:

Example Comments also taken from the survey confirm a just how strong the anger is with current management for failing to resolve serious issues within the trust.

• Shift patterns & workloads are having a terrible effect on our home lives – you have no idea when you are going to finish your shift.

• I have no faith in or respect for Secamb management. They talk about patient care, but their actions shout saving money on front line costs.

• There is no such thing any more about “patient care” it’s a joke, it’s about Constantly pushing staff as much as possible into targets that are un-achievable !

• Patient safety is in peril because of the number of life threatening calls where “there are no resources to send”. This includes when the clock has stopped because a single responder is on scene, but has requested immediate assistance from a crew, because of the patient’s condition.

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