December 11 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Seriously-ill patients are continuing to be put at risk by the region’s ambulance service sending responders in cars to meet key response targets, union officials said.
Representatives from Unison spoke of their anger yesterday after the interim chief executive of the East of England Ambulance Service rejected a collective grievance by front-line staff regarding the overreliance of rapid response vehicles (RRV) attending 999 calls.
Almost 400 workers for the NHS trust signed a grievance calling on bosses to stop using RRVs to claim the organisation’s A19 target. Under the target, the ambulance service is supposed to get a transportable resource to 95pc of emergencies within 19 minutes. However, union members said the target was been claimed by sending a RRV and solo responder.
Staff met Andrew Morgan, acting chief executive, last week who declined to accept the collective grievance.
Tim Roberts, regional organiser, said: “The trust claim they meet government targets by despatching solo paramedics in cars to critically sick people, including those who have experienced strokes and heart attacks, even though they cannot be transported to hospital in a car. Our members are clear that the trust should deploy the right resources to the right patients and not chase a flawed target. The trust has stated it will listen to staff concerns yet it seems to be ignoring the concerns of hundreds of clinicians.”
Mr Morgan said the organisation measured the A19 target the same as other ambulance trusts and a review found that the NHS trust did not misreport any incidents.
“Over the last several months, I have visited stations and depots, been on ride-outs with frontline staff and have taken on board their views about resources, which helped me to come to a conclusion that we needed to re-invest the £20m into front-line services.”
“EEAST strongly refutes any suggestion that we are not interested in patient safety. We are putting in place, and will report publicly on, a new target called R19T which will record the time waited by people we actually convey, rather than the current A19 which counts those we do not actually end up conveying. We will, however, continue to report the national A19 standard in order to allow comparative data to be collected across all ambulance trusts.”