Home Business News High number of staff leaving ambulance trusts could create further pressures this winter

High number of staff leaving ambulance trusts could create further pressures this winter

by LLB staff reporter
22nd Aug 23 10:06 am

There is a high number of staff leaving ambulance trusts which will cause further pressure this winter for the “broken” health system which will see a repeat of patients waiting times climb further.

The Lib Dems have warned that figures obtained through freedom of information request shows there is a 51% increase of staff leaving across all 10 ambulance trusts in England since 2019-20 as they are suffering from “intolerable pressure” as they are “over-stretched.”

In 2022-23 there was a 6,968 increase in vacated jobs such as control room staff, paramedics, mechanics and managers which is up from 4,609 three years before.

In the winter of 2022 demand pressures across the NHS led to lengthy treatment delays which saw lines of ambulances stuck waiting for hours outside hospitals.

However, performance has improved, but there are real concerns that there could be spike in demand this winter with fears last years waiting times for ambulances could be repeated.

Daisy Cooper, Lib Dem spokeswoman for health and social care, called on the Government to launch a recruitment drive to boost staffing levels.

She said: “This Conservative Government has run our health services into the ground and these figures show that paramedics are voting with their feet.

“With patients struggling to see a GP at the front door of the NHS and unable to access social care at the back door of the NHS, ambulance crews are unfairly caught between a rock and a hard place, picking up the slack from a health and care system that is broken at both ends.

“The shortage of NHS staff has caused untold pain for millions of people across the country, especially those left to wait for hours in pain for an ambulance to arrive.”

Sara Gorton, the union’s head of health, said: “Ambulance staff are under intolerable pressure because services are over-stretched.

“Spiralling 999 calls and endless queues outside A&E departments have left them burnt out. It’s no wonder so many decide they’ve had enough.

“Ministers must reverse years of neglect and invest in ambulance services. This might persuade staff to stay and ensure patients get the care they need.”

A spokesperson for South East Coast Ambulance Service said: “We have recruited 476 frontline road staff as well as 540 staff to work in our 999 and 111 operations centres in the last 12 months.

“We are committed to providing high-quality care to our patients and part of that includes continuing to improve recruitment and retention levels to ensure we have the required staff to respond to those who need us, while providing colleagues with the support they need to carry out their challenging roles.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We are boosting the number of paramedics by up to 15,600 by 2031-2032 as part of the first ever NHS Long Term Workforce Plan, backed by over £2.4 billion over the next five years and there are around 700 more paramedics in the NHS than last year.

“As part of this Urgent and Emergency Care Recovery Plan ambulance services are receiving £200 million of additional funding this year, alongside over 800 new ambulances.”

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