Gwent ambulance hours lost through staff shortages

MORE than 28,500 rostered hours were lost by the Welsh ambulance service in Gwent in the 14 months to June this year, because there were not enough frontline staff to work them.

The Aneurin Bevan Health Board area, which covers Gwent, had the most lost ambulance service hours of Wales’ seven health boards.

But figures from the Welsh Ambulances Services NHS Trust, revealed through a Freedom of Information Act request by Plaid Cymru, show that a shortfall in frontline staff, paramedics and others who work from ambulance stations, is an issue across Wales.

An average of more than 7,000 hours a month is being lost across Wales because there are not enough frontline ambulance staff to work the rosters, with the average monthly difference between hours worked and hours rostered being 7,361 from April 2012 to June 2013.

It was also revealed that at the end of last July there were 84 vacancies of staff in Welsh ambulance stations.

The figures for Gwent are particularly worrying because areas within it such as Torfaen and Monmouthshire frequently record among the poorest monthly emergency response times.

In its reply to the FoI request, the trust said an “extensive” recruitment campaign was underway to fill frontline vacancies.

Comments (1)

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2:46pm Thu 16 Jan 14

David Evans1 says...

I am a Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) for the Welsh Ambulance Service. Having Completed my Diploma in Paramedic Science in Coventry university last year I am now a HCPC registered paramedic. My employer wont let me practice my paramedic skills even if necessary to preserve a life as I am employed as an EMT. I have had to reduce my hours with my employer and take up secondary employment in England to practice my skills. All the Welsh Government cares about is: 1. someone to get to an incident ASAP to stop the clock, 2. The resources freed ASAP to deal with the next call. Patient outcomes are not metered!
I am a Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) for the Welsh Ambulance Service. Having Completed my Diploma in Paramedic Science in Coventry university last year I am now a HCPC registered paramedic. My employer wont let me practice my paramedic skills even if necessary to preserve a life as I am employed as an EMT. I have had to reduce my hours with my employer and take up secondary employment in England to practice my skills. All the Welsh Government cares about is: 1. someone to get to an incident ASAP to stop the clock, 2. The resources freed ASAP to deal with the next call. Patient outcomes are not metered! David Evans1

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