PROPOSED changes to Accident & Emergency staffing at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust are being put to employees today.

The trust, which covers 6,000 square miles, is planning to shake up the way it operates in order to balance its budget over the next five years and give patients “the best possible clinical outcomes”.

The proposals, described as final, include increasing the number of qualified paramedics over the next five years and retaining an existing tier of paramedics with additional clinical skills.

In addition, there are also plans to introduce emergency care assistants to work alongside paramedics on ambulances. These roles, which will see the assistants trained to drive under “blue light” circumstances, are already part of A&E services elsewhere.

The trust said the changes will not lead to a reduction in overall staffing and there will be no compulsory redundancies.

Other changes include pay protection arrangements that ensure A&E staff will not see a reduction in their current level of pay over the next five years and a commitment to remain aligned to the national terms and conditions of employment for NHS staff.