News today about the Scottish Ambulance Service after a woman died a year ago when an Ambulance Technician failed to attend her address because he was having his break.
The Scottish Parliament have announced details of an interim agreement with the Scottish Ambulance Service while negotiations continue on the issue. Scottish Health Secretary, Nicola Sturgeon, said that the interim agreement would mean that ambulance staff would be required to attend “category A” calls if they were on their break.
As compensation for the emergency service staff to provide an emergency service during their breaks they will be given an annual payment of £250, a guaranteed rest break and payment of £100 if the rest break was disturbed.
I was a little surprised that ambulance crews don’t have to turn out from their break, we do it all the time, and that’s even if we are lucky to get a break. (actually, that just refers to the first 26 or 27 years of my career, the last few I have had a break every day and I don’t get turned out from it, but then there has to be some benefit of working in a busy control room). I’m guessing, that if the ambulance service is willing to pay £100 a time for a disturbed break that it doesn’t actually happen that much, or surely they couldn;t afford it? But I don’t know anything about ambulance working practices.
I have noticed just in the last few months that we are getting more and more cases where officers are waiting for an ambulance that doesn’t get despatched for ages. can;t honestly recall any times it’s happened in the past but just this year it seems to be happening more and more. You call the ambo control room from your control room asking for an ETA only t be told they haven’t got an ambo crew to despatch. Usually it;s the other way round and it’s the ambulance crews waiting for a police officer.
Maybe they are suffering similar cuts to the police, either that or everyone is enjoying an uninterrupted break.