Ambulance boss rejects claims that lives are being put at risk

Ambulance boss rejects claims that lives are being put at risk

Ambulance boss rejects claims that lives are being put at risk

First published in News
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Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by

The boss of Yorkshire Ambulance Service bosses has rejected a union’s claims that lives are being put at risk in Keighley due to staff shift changes.

Unite claims the town’s ambulance station is empty and the area devoid of cover for much of each day and claims that more rural areas are suffering from a “postcode lottery”.

Ambulance trust chief executive David Whiting has dismissed the union’s allegations as “misleading and factually incorrect” but Terry Cunliffe, regional officer of Unite, insisted staff were concerned by the standard of cover at the station.

“Some conditions such as a stroke or heart attack require a patient is properly treated within an hour or it puts their life in jeopardy – this is no longer happening due to the lack of ambulance resources and the waiting times,” he said.

“This is extremely worrying to staff – they also have loved ones living in the area who are therefore at serious risk should they need emergency care.”

Mr Cunliffe claimed that emergency crews at Keighley were recently given only four days to accept revised rotas, which they feared would be unsafe for patients and unworkable for staff.

He said the proposals include runs of eight shifts in succession, amounting to 84-hour stints with only six hours’ rest, plus forced “end of shift” overtime. Also, meal breaks are being reduced. Unite is balloting its 450 members at the Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust for action. The union, which is not recognised by Yorkshire Ambulance Service, has four members at Keighley Ambulance Station, in Hard Ings Road.

Mr Whiting said: “We refute the latest misleading and factually incorrect claims being made by Unite the Union around staff rest breaks and shift patterns. Changes to staff rotas and rest breaks have been agreed after a period of consultation with staff and Unison, following a detailed and comprehensive review of our service which took place throughout 2013.

“I would like to reiterate that patient care and safety remain at the heart of everything we do.”

Comments (6)

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10:37am Mon 27 Jan 14

DBObserver says...

Emergency Ambulances weigh over 3.5 tonnes, if they were goods vehicles they would require to be fitted with tachographs, If these shift patterns were true and being worked by an HGV/LGV/PCV (lorry/bus) driver they would be illegal under EU Drivers Hours and Tachograph Laws, where the max driving time is 56 hours per week and 90 hours per fortnight, a 24 hour break in 7 days, regular daily rest periods of 11 hours, with an exception of three 9 hour reduced rest periods in a week. Maximum shift time of 9.5 with an exception of two 10 hour shifts in a week and 45 minutes of meal break after 4.5 hours.

These shifts are clearly dangerous.
Emergency Ambulances weigh over 3.5 tonnes, if they were goods vehicles they would require to be fitted with tachographs, If these shift patterns were true and being worked by an HGV/LGV/PCV (lorry/bus) driver they would be illegal under EU Drivers Hours and Tachograph Laws, where the max driving time is 56 hours per week and 90 hours per fortnight, a 24 hour break in 7 days, regular daily rest periods of 11 hours, with an exception of three 9 hour reduced rest periods in a week. Maximum shift time of 9.5 with an exception of two 10 hour shifts in a week and 45 minutes of meal break after 4.5 hours. These shifts are clearly dangerous. DBObserver
  • Score: 10

11:41am Mon 27 Jan 14

Joedavid says...

Do the ambulances meet target arrival times?
Do the ambulances meet target arrival times? Joedavid
  • Score: 2

1:21pm Mon 27 Jan 14

yezboss says...

Joedavid wrote:
Do the ambulances meet target arrival times?
Quite often not, that's why they an ambulance responder which incidentally is NOT a para medic.
[quote][p][bold]Joedavid[/bold] wrote: Do the ambulances meet target arrival times?[/p][/quote]Quite often not, that's why they an ambulance responder which incidentally is NOT a para medic. yezboss
  • Score: 1

1:25pm Mon 27 Jan 14

Joedavid says...

yezboss wrote:
Joedavid wrote: Do the ambulances meet target arrival times?
Quite often not, that's why they an ambulance responder which incidentally is NOT a para medic.
We got a paramedic in an estate car for our emergency collapse.
[quote][p][bold]yezboss[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Joedavid[/bold] wrote: Do the ambulances meet target arrival times?[/p][/quote]Quite often not, that's why they an ambulance responder which incidentally is NOT a para medic.[/p][/quote]We got a paramedic in an estate car for our emergency collapse. Joedavid
  • Score: 4

3:25pm Mon 27 Jan 14

madaboutbfd says...

When we have called for a ambulance for my grandma there has always been a paramedic in the response car. I think it's not just the Keighley people being put at risk it's the population of Yorkshire as this won't just be a Keighley issue. If they can't look after there staff safely what chance has the public got !
When we have called for a ambulance for my grandma there has always been a paramedic in the response car. I think it's not just the Keighley people being put at risk it's the population of Yorkshire as this won't just be a Keighley issue. If they can't look after there staff safely what chance has the public got ! madaboutbfd
  • Score: 3

4:21pm Mon 27 Jan 14

Mish29 says...

I know a family who had to wait 40 minutes for an ambulance to help a collapsed person who wasn't breathing!! Thankfully fire crews were there and administered CPR until the arrival of paramedics !
It's disgusting what they are doing to the front line public sector services!!
I know a family who had to wait 40 minutes for an ambulance to help a collapsed person who wasn't breathing!! Thankfully fire crews were there and administered CPR until the arrival of paramedics ! It's disgusting what they are doing to the front line public sector services!! Mish29
  • Score: 3

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