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Ambulance ‘cuts’ claims
PROPOSALS have been made to reduce the number of ambulances working in York and Selby, paramedics have warned.
The Yorkshire Ambulance Service has told staff it wants to make major changes – including cutting the number of double-manned ambulances and increasing cars staffed by one paramedic.
Haxby ambulance station will go from having two ambulances to one and York and Selby ambulance stations will both lose a daily ambulance shift if the plans go ahead.
In York, 100 hours a week of ambulance cover would be lost, a staff member said.
Paramedics have warned the changes would put lives at risk as patients could not be transferred to hospital by car but needed to be moved by ambulance.
But the ambulance service said the review was at a very early stage, no final decisions had been made and staff were fully involved.
One paramedic told The Press the authority was proposing “dangerous changes” which would play “Russian roulette” with the safety of patients.
Cars were dispatched instead of ambulances to meet tough Government target times, but then an ambulance was having to be summoned to transport the patient, another paramedic said.
“My colleagues and I find the proposals totally unacceptable and we know it will cause massive issues,” they said.
“Already there are times when our control is shouting for ambulances to back up the cars, because the cars are with very poorly patients. With the difficulties faced by A & E over the winter months, ambulances will be queuing for beds and cars will be waiting for them to transport their patients
“This reduction in ambulances, plus a massive attack on our terms and conditions, will lead to strike action as we feel so strongly about this.
“Not only do we work for the ambulance service, but our families and friends live in the areas that are about to lose cover.”
But David Williams, deputy director of operations at the ambulance trust, said it was carrying out a review to increase efficiency.
He said no final decisions had been made and discussions wre ongoing.
“Patients’ needs are at the heart everything we do and our absolute focus throughout this process is ensuring that we continue to deliver a safe, responsive and high-quality service,” he said
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