AMBULANCE staff in West Yorkshire have been told of changes to the way they work.
Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust says it plans to increase the number of qualified paramedics over the next five years and introduce a new role, an emergency care assistant.
Emergency care assistants have been used successfully for a number of years in other ambulance services to work alongside paramedics in ambulances.
They will provide clinical support and be trained to undertake emergency ‘blue ligt’ response driving.
The trust says the changes will ensure it delivers the best possible clinical outcome for patients, achieves a sustainable level of performance and balances its budget. It says there will be no reduction in the overall number of staff working on the A and E emergency service and no compulsory redundancies.
Chief executive David Whiting said: “We have worked extremely hard to produce the right A&E workforce plan for the Trust over the next five years.
“This has involved detailed negotiations and consultation with trade union representatives, which has led to this improved final plan being put out to our staff.”
He added: “Our absolute focus throughout this process has been to ensure that we continue to deliver a safe, responsive and high quality service to the people of Yorkshire over the coming years.
“We have also sought to ensure we protect the current employment and future career prospects of our A&E staff as much as we possibly can during these challenging economic times.”
Once the Trust has the final and formal response from its recognised trade unions to the proposed changes, it will seek to implement them as quickly as possible.