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News » WAB Debate

Do You Back The Ambulance Workers' Strike?

Wednesday July 2 2014

Ambulance workers set to strike Ambulance workers set to strike

AMBULANCE staff across the borough will be on strike when the Tour de France comes to the region this weekend.

The Unite union said its members had "overwhelmingly" voted to take industrial action on July 5 and 6.

The Grand Depart begins in Leeds city centre on Saturday, before heading to the outskirts of Barnsley the following day.

David Whiting, chief executive of the Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, criticised the union for opting for the busiest weekend of the summer.

He said: "Their actions are clearly designed to disrupt vital services for local residents, visitors and vulnerable patients."

The union - who has been striking for a year - believes its members' safety is at risk as proposed new shift patterns could mean staff work 10 hours without a meal break.

Do you back the strike? Have your say below.

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Reply Posted by j on Wednesday July 2 2014 at 12:57
10 hour shifts without a meal break - disgusting. Bet whoever designed the new shift patterns won't be doing it!! 6 hours max before the blood sugars start going haywire!!

Reply Posted by toni on Wednesday July 2 2014 at 13:12
I'm totally on side it's unfair to work 10 hours without anything to eat they more likely to pass out as they always busy who ever thought that 1 up is being selfish y not work 5 hours then have hour or half hour dinner then work rest half hour later on in shift people need to eat staff will start to get ill feeling sick and dizzy with lack of food

Reply Posted by rog on Wednesday July 2 2014 at 14:15
You can be sure the bosses don't work these hours...is this 2014 or 1814?

Reply Posted by 999paramedic on Wednesday July 2 2014 at 14:58
I am paramedic who works for yorkshire ambulance service, I was so proud to qualify as a paramedic 10 years ago, I went to work happy and excited to be doing the job I loved, but now I dread going to work, I look and feel stressed always tired and often feel ill.
The union unite has balloted members to strike again, and a strike will be held this weekend, the weekend of toure de france.
The race will not be impacted as extra crews have been drafted in, on a normal busy weekend there are no extra crews and staff are often pushed to the limits

Recent weeks YAS bosses decided that staff should work 7 hours plus before allowed meal breaks I am hearing that some crews are working 10 hours before a break, last Saturday I worked 10 hours non stop before allowed to return to station for a 30 minute break. this was a 12 hour shift which turned into a almost 14 hour shift. crews are often pushed to the end of the shift before been allowed to return for breaks and then given late jobs at the end of there shift and are always made late off turning 12 hour shifts into 13 hour plus. Crews are been pushed to the limits and by the end of their shift not fit to work. I have been told that in recent months 2 members of staff have fallen asleep at the wheel and crashed. One left seriously ill.

Ambulances are been sent on long journeys to reach calls. I from leeds to Barnsley to reach one patient this week who was seriously ill and was in real need of medical care, ambulances are sent on dangerous long journeys because of the lack of ambulances
At the beginning of a shift the crew are suppose to check the ambulance for road worthiness and the equipment most ambulances are held together with tape and are not fit for the road, these vehicle checks are rarely completed as staff are not allowed the time to carry the checks, so many staff members come into work 30 minutes early unpaid and check the vehicle making sure they are fit to serve the public.

Shift rotas where change in September YAS are failing to reach the ORCAN target, The ORCON target for ambulance services, which requires an ambulance to arrive within 8 minutes of the time of the call.
Activation - All calls should have an ambulance 'activated' within 3 minutes of the phone being answered. This is usually made up of the control room tasking the crew within one minute, and the crew having a further 2 minutes to be 'on the road'. This is supposed to be achieved with 95% of calls.
Category A calls, which are calls designated by
AMPDS as being immediately life-threatening. 75% of calls should receive an initial response within eight minutes (of the operator answering the call) and 95% of calls should receive an initial response within 19 minutes. The performance indicator generated by the ambulance service is expressed as a percentage of how many calls meet this.
Category B are calls which are designated by AMPDS as being serious, but not immediately life-threatening. 95% of calls should receive an initial response within 19 minutes. The performance indicator generated by the ambulance service is expressed as a percentage of how many calls meet this
YAS was achieving 76% plus before the change of rotas they are now hitting less than 70% and staff and the people of Yorkshire are suffering for the managements incompetence.
to make up for this short fall YAS are now sending two ECA`s (emergency care assistants) on a ambulance with no paramedic back up
ECA training is 6 weeks 3 of which are driver training Paramedic is 2 years at university 4 weeks in hospital training including theatres, cardiac, A & E and maternity plus 3 weeks driving, a massive difference.
YAS are also issuing non clinical managers with uniforms and blue lights to attend emergencies (usually given pips on there epaulets to make them look like senior ambulance clinicians) The community defib managers are less trained than the ECA`s and they are sent to serious incidents including unwell children, these people carry oxygen and a AED (automated external defibrillator) A paramedic spends approx 3 months plus training on paediatrics the community responders receive less than two days,
YAS are recruiting more and more volunteers and sending them to serious calls, one responder was on scene 50 minutes before being backed up by a qualified ambulance person. this is all to stop the clock and making YAS look like they have reached a call within 8 minutes, once the clock as been stopped that it! they don’t have to rush to send anything else, often RRVs are sat with patients for hours waiting for a ambulance to transport the patient
The latest management idea is to recruit volunteers to man the tour de France where roads are to be closed and where spectators are, these are given small first aid kits including vinegar for stings, but given very little training, and vinegar can only be used in wasp sting, this has not been passed onto the volunteers. A very senior manager has asked volunteers if that can discharge patients on scene it would be appreciated, these people have no clinical experience what so ever !! people could die. A manager was interviewed By look north I almost choked, how can a manager say we ARE READY AND PREPARED !!!
I am not striking because I want to, I am doing it because I want YAS to provide a service to the public that can be relied upon and one that the public deserve
Yorkshire ambulance service is broken and I feel its time the public know about it
Politian’s are ignoring the melt down
today a paramedic offered to work with a ECA to make a full crew this was denied by bosses and a double ECA crew was sent out to an emergency, is this because its cheaper to staff a ambulance that way ??

Reply Posted by sid on Thursday July 3 2014 at 12:39
What a post 999para.
It makes eye watering reading. We take you all for granted. You and your co workers are the best ,so deserve the best!

Reply Posted by James DiGriz on Thursday July 3 2014 at 15:34
I am also a para with YAS, and identify completely with your frustrations. A shame as well that we must, for now, seek protection on pseudonyms in order to highlight the huge, but not insurmountable, challenges caused to the service by a few misguided individuals. This weekend, we will do what we do best, continue to provide the best possible service to the public, under difficult situations, while remaining focussed on the core truth...It is YOU, the public that make our job worthwhile and fulfilling, and this remains our focus while the managers who should support us, continue to undermine our efforts and deliberately mislead the media with their petty blandishments and deceptions.

Reply Posted by MB on Thursday July 10 2014 at 11:09
What a post 999para. like Sid said it makes us normal folk realise what you guys actually do. 10 Hours, disgraceful, how can you concentrate and be able to drive safely.

The best of luck.

Reply Posted by bfc;) on Wednesday July 2 2014 at 15:05
They need breaks to do their jobs safely. How would you feel if a loved one suffered as a result of them being unable to concentrate. My child needed an ambulance and we live 2 mins away from station and they came from Sheffield.

Reply Posted by Ai on Wednesday July 2 2014 at 16:02
Well said 999paramedic, targets are the scourge of many industries and sectors yet the Politicians never hit or meet any targets and lambast everyone for failing except of course themselves. It is a great shame when someone of your conviction and commitment has to write a response as you have, to have to put up with management failings as you do is a disgrace, you are the public facing people of the NHS system and what a great job you do and people should feel confident having someone of your calibre attend their emergency. Not wondering if a weekender is attending-I hope the strike action has the desired effect and thanks for explaining the situation as you have-good luck to you and your colleagues.

Reply Posted by guy fawkes on Wednesday July 2 2014 at 16:13
Frustrating isn't it when everyone can see things crumbling around them the NHS,schools,obesity,lack of jobs,youths hanging round streets full of drugs,society full of I am all right jack,where did it all go wrong.

Reply Posted by True red on Wednesday July 2 2014 at 16:35
Ambulance crews, police force, fire crews, prison personnel, hospital workers all have been attacked by this government and there lackeys its strange don't you think when our hospitals are failing our prisons are full to bursting the ambulance service is pushed to breaking point, knife crime and drug offences are running riot on our streets and this government are attacking the very people that are on the front line is there an hidden agenda or is it that they just don't care about this country

Reply Posted by Margaret on Wednesday July 2 2014 at 17:19
All this government are bothered about is themselves and there fat cat friends good on you 999paramedic hope you win your fight and get what you are fighting for I admire you and your colleagues for all the work you do you deserve a medal

Reply Posted by Tony on Wednesday July 2 2014 at 17:33
Well said paramedic I was waiting 45 minutes for a ambulance when I had chest pain, I have angina and could not get rid of the pain by using my spray I waited a while and then decided to phone 999 as the pain was worsening. When the ambulance people arrived they were brilliant, an absolute credit to the NHS I was kept in hospital for a week and fortunately with some more medication I feel a lot better
The wait for the ambulance was disgusting I don't blame the staff but I do blame the management and one day if not already they will have blood on their hands !!!!!
The crew that came for me has worked 9 hours and just had a break and they were from dewsbury, I live in darfield.
I wonder if Barnsley chronicle will print any of the above or are they more interested in where the jacket potato man has gone and how wonderful councilor Miller is ??
Well fine all the frontline ambulance staff I support your strike 110% we should all bow down and applourd these hard working people
Keep up the fight and thank you all

Reply Posted by pop on Wednesday July 2 2014 at 20:09
With them all the way.

Reply Posted by Niki Lodge on Thursday July 3 2014 at 07:35
I too back these strikes. I work in a care home and a resident fell with quite a bang recently it took nearly two hours for paramedics to arrive from sheffield because barnsley crews were busy. Those two staff where brilliant and couldnt apologise enough about the wait due to being on other jobs and traffic. Think its disgusting how they are been treated.

Reply Posted by j on Thursday July 3 2014 at 08:16
Well said 999Paramedic - the average Joe has no idea what goes on behind the scenes - is this another statistic ploy to give credence to the privatisation of the NHS?? Stinks to say the least - with you all the way in your strike action. About time the rest of the country stood up to be counted, but then, with media coverage being controlled, no one knows what's happening - another control measure!!

Reply Posted by yorkpara999 on Thursday July 3 2014 at 11:17
My colleague paramedic 999 has got it spot on !! I have nearly 30 years service ! I have never known it so bad for my colleagues , they are bullied & harrassed ,they are shattered & some have difficulty sleeping because they have little rest between shifts ! Their families are suffering ! We Unite the Union members have been left with NO OPTION but to FIGHT these draconion measures to PROTECT the Ambulance Service & the best quality care available by some very capable & caring staff FOR THE PEOPLE OF YORKSHIRE

Reply Posted by Lisa on Thursday July 3 2014 at 11:33
10????? 12 plus more like sometimes 16 hours it disgusting. We become an industry of top heavy employment , too many directors and executives in 2006 YAS had 80 senior mangers, directors and executives now they have 260 all with hefty wages in excess is £60,000 up to £120,000 plus BMWs and Mercedes for company cars all of this is paid for by down grading the qualifications and care. David Whiting has braught this Aspirant trust into disrepute as he did to the last two trusts he ran.
Unite the union have been de recognised for been correct and standing up for staff and patients no one choses to strike it is a last resort and the only option when dealing with arrogant bullies. I'd like you all to remember why we are actually striking it's for patient saftey, the ECA role is unsafe,lack of down time n meal breaks unsafe, 12 plus hour shifts unsafe all these coupled with bullying lack of vehicles lack of qualified staff fiddling ORCON leads to the need for David Whiting to do the honourable deed and resign.

Reply Posted by Exhausted on Thursday July 3 2014 at 11:46
Exhausted to the point it's an effort to do what was once easy. Before theses flawed changes happened YAS achieved now it's failing patients with life threatening conditions not getting an ambulance. Taxis responding, Fire men responding, public responding any one responding so long as it is cheap. Patients need qualified staff not top heavy management, director and executive teams.

Reply Posted by Concerned member of public on Thursday July 3 2014 at 13:42
I read all these comments with great concern as to what is happening to the NHS YAS ambulance service it sounds like the department of health should step in and start sacking management and directive team
I am also interested in if BARNSLEY CHRONICLE will print this of if they will choose in ignore once like they normally do
The people of Barnsley need to hear this and show as much support for the ambulance crews as possible
If you call a ambulance you should expect to receive a ambulance with a qualified staff member on not some one that's has a days training
Good on you ambulance staff I'm supporting you !

Reply Posted by rainbow on Thursday July 3 2014 at 14:15
What are the ambulance crews doing for ten hours anyway? Taking old people to hospital, the occaisional accident? Driving an ambulance is hardly hard work. I also recall an incident recently where ambulance staff refused to work during a lunch break that resulted in one bloke dying after a heart attack, it too hours before the crews got to the poor man.

Reply Posted by James Digriz on Thursday July 3 2014 at 15:40
what we do for our shift, is to deal with the relentless flow of patients, like yourself, who require and emergency response to acute medical or traumatic injury. I suspect from the tone of your post, you are either quite new to the ancient art of the internet troll, or have simply confused PTS with A&E, a simple mistake, but inaccurate, as even PTS crews now face comparable pressures to perform quickly. Please feel free to take advantage of the huge reserves of knowledge here to correct your inaccurate impressions of the service, we will be more than happy to bring you up to date with the problems we face.

Reply Posted by Liza on Thursday July 3 2014 at 14:26
I thought they had different ambulance people to take old people to hospital not paramedics or 999responders

Reply Posted by me on Thursday July 3 2014 at 14:27
ambulance crews do a great job.. aldi car park stairfoot, across from mill of black monk parked up 4 hours waiting 4 a call. or dunt that count? just saying like.

Reply Posted by Me is a dick on Thursday July 3 2014 at 16:10
The reason they park there is they are central to a large part of Towm. Which in effect can cut tere response time down.

@me hope you don't need a ambulance you short sighted t@@t.

Reply Posted by Stephen on Thursday July 3 2014 at 14:34
Rainbow, are you serious? For 10 hours we are run ragged trying to get to patients throughout the county, dealing with people who are dying or suffering with serious injuries. We have to be given a meal break as a legal requirement and when we are stood down we are not told of any incidents that are waiting for an ambulance and therefore never in a position to refuse to go to an emergence. In fact at really busy times a lot of crews will offer to go to jobs and delay their meal break in order to help others. This service is run on the good will of crews going above and beyond their job description and rather than having idiots like you trying to belittle us and slate us you should try walk a mile in our ill fitting, blood stained, tired shoes before judging us.

Reply Posted by Andrew on Thursday July 3 2014 at 14:37
Raindbow let me explain a few things firstly no other industry works 10 hours plus with out breaks, HGV drivers have to by law take breaks every few hours
Have you ever had to do CPR for 1 hour ? I doubt it, the stress of dealing with death day in and day out. Having to deal with children that are serious ill or squeezing into wrecker cars to help administrate live staging interventions.
Having to explain that there's is nothing more you can do for their spouse of many years.
As far as crews refusing to deal with a incident whilst on a break, I really don't know where you get your facts from, this is simply not true !!
Crews do not have any access to what incidents are occurring at any time the communications centre pass a job to a crew and that's it they don't see what else is happening anywhere in Yorkshire, England or the world ! If a crew is on a break they don't know what jobs are outstanding I also know crews that have come off breaks or worked late or even done incidents when they are not at work.
And if you think the job is that easy pit your money where your mouth is and apply YAS are currently recutting and I would be more than happy to mentor you

Reply Posted by bod.bod on Thursday July 3 2014 at 23:27
May be Rainbow would like to do a thirdmaning shift in order for him to see it first hand. he may then take the rose tinted glasses of and see what really goes on.

Reply Posted by Understanding on Thursday July 3 2014 at 14:53
Rainbow, you have absolutely no idea!
Seems you've gone quiet too!

Reply Posted by Scrubs on Thursday July 3 2014 at 14:59
Do people always know that YAS are posting people up to 80 miles from their place of residence adding a 1 1/2 hour drive at each end of there shift

Reply Posted by Eca yas on Thursday July 3 2014 at 15:22
As an Eca who works for yas I totally agree with the 999 paramedic.. Every one of my colleagues are knackered basically we go to work expecting to be late finishing or we more than likely arent going to get a break until at least 7 hours into our shift.. I had 4 weeks clinical training and 2 weeks blue light training and am in full agreement that I shouldn't be sent to red calls when paired with another Eca but unfortunately we are bullied into this and get no choice in the matter what jobs we are passed as for refusing to go to a red call whilst on lunch never in my 5 years with the service have I ever seen or heard about this happening we CANNOT refuse to attend jobs. Management are pushing their committed dedicated staff to breaking point I just hope they realise this before it's too late

Reply Posted by Para64 on Thursday July 3 2014 at 16:03
I too am a Paramedic and have been for the last 11 years. It is a hard job sometimes, but I and my colleagues have always said it was the best job in the world. Not any more unfortunately.
I never thought that I would be prepared to take strike action, but I have to echo my colleagues' previous comments and say that enough is enough.
When we raise concerns at work as an individual, we are not listened to, and told
that we ought to think ourselves lucky to have a job. This is when we need a union, to be our voice, but our union has been de recognised, so we now have no voice at all.
We have to make a stand, for the safety of the people of Yorkshire. My family live in Yorkshire, and if any of them need emergency medical care I want to know they are getting a qualified Paramedic in a timely manner to treat and stabilise them before they attend hospital. Surely we all deserve and should expect that?
We are all exhausted and demoralised. Experienced Paramedics are leaving faster than newly qualified, inexperienced staff can be recruited. And those new staff will be working with unqualified staff as soon as they start. Scary eh?
Over the years we have all built up a memory bank of jobs that are dreadfully disturbing; People with dreadful injuries, cars full of young people who thought they could drive like a racing driver in their new cars, with tragic results. We see old people who haven't spoken to another soul for weeks. We deal with adults with mental health difficulties who make you wonder whether care in the community is working. We deliver babies, we go to dead babies. We have to remember the sights of people who have decided that their life is not worth living and have taken their lives in violent and distressing ways. I could go on
Surely, when you think about this,you will agree that we deserve a meal break at the very least, but mostly we want to be heard. We need to be listened to.
Thank you all for your support. It means an awful lot

Reply Posted by Rob on Thursday July 3 2014 at 16:14
Rainbow let Zippy and Bungle comment they've got more sense.

Reply Posted by NOK on Thursday July 3 2014 at 16:18
My partner is a paramedic for YAS and his rota for duty is ridiculous. No human being could possibly keep this up without being exhausted. It definitely is not healthy. Neither is it family friendly. Children and partners are suffering from this too, not to mention more importantly the patients. As they are cannot be 100% fit to work.

These so called people who have put this in place need to get into the real world, stop looking at £££ signs, big houses & luxury holidays and become a paramedic for the month. I wonder if they would still be standing at the end of it or needing a REAL paramedic. I'm sure they would realise pretty quickly watch a mess they have now created.

Reply Posted by Wife on Thursday July 3 2014 at 16:19
Hi I'm a wife of a paramedic and agree with everything that's been said. When I met my husband I knew that he would have to work weekends and nights and I fully support him, since last year when his shifts changed I hardly see him at all we are like passing ships he can go over 5 days without seeing our children, he's at work most weekends of he's on nights he gets to see them and me for a couple of hours before shift
He looks tired and stressed all the time he's never finished work on time for the last 6 months and I can't remember the last time he had a break at a reasonable time.
We seem to argue more now and I blame YAS for the stress it's putting on our family life, I love him to bits but he's a changed man and I'm not sure how much longer he can cope with the pressures he is under and the life style that YAS have imposed on him, he speaks that a lot of his colleagues have left and are going to work abroad, he is infant looking for another job and had applied for a store managers job at Aldi as he thinks our marriage is at risk if he continues to work as a paramedic. This is a great shame he's a good paramedic and has picked up awards for bravery and commitment to YAS.
If management continue like that are there will be no good paramedics left and only unqualified staff
Please all staff keep safe and continue fighting you are all brilliant and do a fantastic job x

Reply Posted by bod.bod on Thursday July 3 2014 at 23:30
Let the newness ware off, the NHS do not pay for anything without them wanting a pound of flesh.

Reply Posted by Margaret on Thursday July 3 2014 at 16:25
Para64i truly hope you get what you and your colleagues want and need I certainly could not do your job and I think you all do a brilliant job some of the things you attend I don't want to think about and yet you and your colleagues attend and deal with whatever is put in front of you you are all heroes in my eyes god bless you all

Reply Posted by Daughter on Thursday July 3 2014 at 16:47
My dad is a paramedic. Each morning I get up for school, he isn't home or he is in bed or if I am lucky enough to see him, he is really stroppy because of how tired he is. Why do you managers think this is OK. I want my dad back. We only get one dad and you YAS are taking him away from me. His shifts are rubbish and so is my life right now. YAS because your keeping him away so long please look after him.

Reply Posted by newsreader on Thursday July 3 2014 at 16:55
Im actually reading this with tears in my eyes, this is so sad Wife and Daughter please stay strong and look after your husband and daughter look after yor Dad. Therse people who put on their greens are true heros in my eyes, each and everyone do a fantastc job please stay safe all of you

Please please please Barnsley Chronicle make this news on friday Come on Sir Nic dont ignore this please show your support for these angels in greens
the people of Barnsley need and deserve to know the truth

Please keep up the good work

Reply Posted by Jane on Thursday July 3 2014 at 17:50
I think its disgusting that they are striking on a big event the Tour De France , they are showing themselves up and the service .
I do support there meal breaks and pay but I think its irresponsible of them to do it when we have other countries visiting this spectacular event its a one off opportunity.

Reply Posted by guy fawkes on Thursday July 3 2014 at 18:00
come the glorious day of the revolution when we all finally say enough is enough the people rise and Everyman gets his fair share at the table of wealth .all the best to the ambulance drivers ect and anyone else who says I've eaten enough s...t sandwich.no more.

Reply Posted by Liz Hartshorne on Thursday July 3 2014 at 18:22
Don't actually agree with strikes but what option have they? We complain that in sweat shops in the far east they have to work without a break and yet they expect paramedics to work 10 hours without a break!!! Get real it is a difficult enough job for them without expecting them to work long hours without a formal break.

Reply Posted by Pyromedic on Thursday July 3 2014 at 18:32
I too am a paramedic with YAS. As all my colleagues have said - we don't know what we're going to. We do go to people who don't need an ambulance but, for whatever reason, have called and got one. As my colleagues have said, we are human and we too need support from management (non existent) and our colleagues (there all the time).

Our concerns are that the people of Yorkshire are not getting the level of , "high quality patient care" that YAS consistently go on about. This care and compassion is achieved because of frontline staff's personal and professional dedication and belief in what they do.

We do not want to strike, we are not striking for our pay, pension or anything personal - it is about the public of Yorkshire getting the qualified, professional help they need from a crew who are valued and respected by their management - not only as qualified professionals but as human beings too.

Too many qualified and experienced staff have left or looking to leave - we are all tired, demoralised, stressed and if we are ill we get penalised even more.

Reply Posted by Tim on Thursday July 3 2014 at 18:44
Jane please read post from 999 paramedic YAS have put extra crews on for Tour de France Yas have put extra crews on for the event so of you become ill watching at an event you will be fine ish, probably treated by a Yas first aider if you fall ill any where else there usually isn't a ambulance to attended YAS don't put extra crews on any other time and this is why action is being taken
The service is not safe

Reply Posted by Devils Advocate on Thursday July 3 2014 at 19:06
You would think it's 10 hours hard labour on a building site. In reality most patients don't require any interventions and simply need signposting to another service or referring to another HCP. The most annoying thing about the job is paperwork.

Take a pack up and refreshments in the cab, use your turnaround time at hospital to get a drink and use facilities. You shouldn't have to but you do what you can.

On rare occasion you go 10 hours without a meal break, grab something while your out and about and use your £10 meal subsidy.

Reply Posted by James DiGriz on Thursday July 3 2014 at 19:32
First of all, all jobs have different stress levels, it is foolish to decide the only kind of hard work involves manual labour. Secondly, not all referrals are made in normal hours, so often patients do need treatment, even of it is minor, we are not a pick up and transport service, we are autonomous practitioners who will offer help even to the minor cases,
We should not "take pack up" to eat in the cab, its not good infection control.
We have extremely tight turnaround times at hospital, which are monitored, and leave us barely enough time to prepare the vehicle for the next patient, let alone time to eat or rest. 10 hours without break are not rare, not sure where that info comes from, maybe you would share your source with us, I'm sure we would appreciate the opportunity to correct another myth.Presumably while we are "out and about" looking for places to find food or fluid, we are not available to work? We simply don't have such opportunity to drive around. 99% of the time we are driving to a job, or transporting a patient, neither of which leaves the opportunity to visit Tesco

Reply Posted by Red Optimist on Thursday July 3 2014 at 19:12
I agree with Jane, above. While I have no real reason to think that ambulance staff do not , generally, do a good job, I feel it is most unprofessional to strike on this particular weekend. They would obtain much more public support if they showed a little more public spirit at this particular time. If the ambulance staff feel that a strike is essential, then it really should be at some other time.

Reply Posted by Liam Diver on Thursday July 3 2014 at 19:23
Back them 100%

Reply Posted by Sid on Thursday July 3 2014 at 20:38
Under the QCC food is not allowed in the ambulance although we sometime and often do, there's also no where to store food so if it's hot the food goes off causing bacteria to grow causing infections = sickness and time off 3 periods of sickness can lead to being sacked
15 min turn round is for cleaning and preparing the ambling for the next call
Would you want to sit on a stretcher where someone has had a bowl movement or vomitted ??? Or lay in someone else's blood or where a dead body had been laid ?

Reply Posted by Devils Advocate on Thursday July 3 2014 at 20:57
James DiGriz.

This job is as stressful as you make it.

I've been a Paramedic in Yorkshire for 10 years. I appreciate the demand in South Yorkshire is pretty constant however, you only do one job at a time and in the main have only 1 patient and any one time and can work as fast paced or as steady as we want within reason. Referrals in hours or out of hours are pretty much the same- via the clinical hub or 111 for an out of hours gp to call you back in 20mins.

The jobs that are stressful and demanding are few and far between.

"We should not "take pack up" to eat in the cab, its not good infection control."

Sorry but as a Paramedic myself my view is - we are providing an emergency service for the public, including our own family and friends. - its part of the job. I reckon in a 12 hour shift we would typically see between 6 and 9 patients in the main stable and east to manage within our scope of practice.

The vehicles are hardly sparkling. We have hands and face wipes to replace soap and water and alcohol hand gel. - We make the most of what we can do.

I agree that a maximum of 15mins to handover and a further maximum of 15mins to clear can be tight in some cases however sometimes we end up waiting up to 45 mins to handover and that time can be used wisely. Same when you fuel up at a garage etc.

"leave us barely enough time to prepare the vehicle for the next patient" - you get as much time as you need to prepare the vehicle for the next patient. Safety comes first - simply make yourself unavailable until the vehicle is ready.

Reply Posted by Manic Medic on Thursday July 3 2014 at 21:09
Look let's get down to brass tacks this service has gone to the dogs. If it wasn't for the support and camaraderie between the road staff a lot more would have left already or at least be on long term sick due to stress or exhaustion 999 Paramedic and Pyromedic well said and very well put. As for the comments re standing by at points I can't remember the last time I did for any length of time. Family life suffers no external family time around shifts can be planned due to enforced overtime and calls being surprisingly regraded very near to home time to make this happen. It's regular for crews to go 8hrs on a 10 hr shift without a break and 30 mins rest is no good for anyone. It is becoming more regular for crews to never work in their home town crossing counties in order to get to jobs 150 to 200 miles plus a shift. Not to mention dealing with the actual job when we get to it. We don't want to strike but something has got to either give or be done. We want the best for the people of Yorkshire but without the backing and support of management things will go from bad to worse if that's currently possible. A lot of the service is being run on good will and crews unpaid own time as previously mentioned in an effort to be ready for what the world can chuck at us. On a personal note thanks also must go to our families and friends for their support and understanding in our current situation. Not to mention our second family at work.

Reply Posted by Big Bernie on Thursday July 3 2014 at 22:02
Come on now let's be fair here, there are millions of people out of work in this country so I, like many, am getting a little tired of this Woe are us ambulance staff attitude & have little sympathy for people working in a public service role that are earning in excess of 30 grand! Do you seriously expect us to believe that you don't get a drink or any food inbetween calls??? Just because you are being made to work for a living don't expect the general public to feel sorry for you when every day people are losing their homes & jobs! You should be grateful you have secure, well paid employment! Grow up & stop moaning about silly things. It's time to consider a change of career if you are not happy! No??? Thought not!

Reply Posted by @huddsN on Friday July 4 2014 at 00:04
Big Bernie, Firstly you don't have the faintest idea of what it is like to walk in our shoes, secondly we provide the best possible care and service to our patients in Yorkshire, we work around the clock 24/7 365days a year to help people sick/injured or otherwise, there are millions of people who are out of work in this country correct and most of them don't want to work, and sit at home trolling sites like these because they have nothing else better to do other than nit pick with the pay they get from the hard working tax payers... Could that be you!!

At the end of the day we are only asking for our meal breaks to be corrected and for the patients to receive the correct care for there complaint, not someone who has just come into the service who use to work at the local farm packing eggs. So please go find a job where your voiced opinion actually stands some ground, because quite frankly you don't know what hours we have to work night and day weekends and over holidays that should and would normally be spent with family, we do not get them!! full stop! yes it is part of the role and yes we accept it, but we do not want to be delivering a service that isn't of the standard it should be. And everyone needs to eat just like maybe the car you drive needs fuel, without that it will eventually stop, and there isn't a human on this planet that will operate correctly as the public expect without a break and downtime to recuperate so that we can continue to deliver 100% everytime which we all strive to achieve with every patient, I know that the people I work with at my station there isn't one of them that really want to strike action for this but we have now been given no other option.

With that being said Big Bernie please understand that your comments are far from educated and far from the truth, you wouldn't last an hour with the stress and sometimes horrific situations that YAS road staff have to deal with.

Take care, one day you might just need that over worked and fatigued paramedic that hasn't had his meal break just when you need CPR, and they are too stressed and tiered to complete this treatment!!!

Reply Posted by tired para on Thursday July 3 2014 at 22:10
I too am a paramedic at YAS. In my last 9 shifts i have not been fed/rested until well after 7 hours into the shift. When i have made myself unavailable at hospital in order to not get a snotty email telling me I've taken more than the allocated 15 mins, i have been hassled via radio by comms to make myself available - even whilst restocking drugs and filling out drug registers. Whilst i am good at multi-tasking, i cannot be in the hospital drug store cupboard at the same time as being en route to a 999!!! what they are asking is the impossible. The old saying 'its a poor paramedic that can't grab 10 mins to get a cuppa' no longer applies sadly. In order to do so, we face disciplinary proceedings.

We do not have access to drinking water, as hospital water dispensers are locked away in nurses staff rooms (we used to have access but YAS management have decided it was encouraging us to take too long to turn round so we have now been denied this privilege). There are water dispensers on ambulance stations but as we usually leave the station within minutes of starting a shift and don't get back for around 8 hours, they are pretty pointless to be honest. Unless we remember to take change to buy bottled water from the vending machines (expensive!) - we are stuck. With only a £10 in my pocket the other night i went 6 hours of my shift without a drink on a hot evening! i never got chance to change the tenner so i couldn't use the vending machine and the hospital shop and cafe were closed.

I have recently had a run of 'bad' jobs. These jobs are what the ambulance service should be about. Making a difference and saving lives. However when you do one after the other it starts to take its toll. We used to get welfare calls to make sure we were ok after jobs like these. We were also given the opportunity for some 'down time' - a chance to have a cuppa and a chat with a supervisor and colleagues after stressful jobs. Im still waiting for any kind of support from YAS for that run of bad jobs. They just don't care anymore. They no longer see us as human beings that have feelings, emotions, needs such as food, water and rest.

Going out without checking our vehicle is the norm yet it is illegal. The points for a bald tyre or faulty vehicle go on OUR driving licence, yet time and again we are forced to break the law.

The vehicles are not being maintained well enough. Doors are faulty and difficult to close adding to the physical effort. The air conditioning which was so so welcome last year has not been regassed on most vehicles so does not work in the cabs. You have a choice - wind the windows down and damage your hearing with the sirens or work in heat that goes way above the acceptable.

Never have i heard so many staff talking about dropping to part time hours or leaving simply because they can no longer keep up this pace. This is affecting our health, yet we aren't allowed to be off sick or we face disciplinary proceedings after 3 periods of sickness. YAS just isn't what it used to be. It runs on goodwill of frontline staff but that goodwill is being beaten out of us sadly

Reply Posted by sid on Thursday July 3 2014 at 22:20
The point about you getting points on your license for badly maintained vehicles tired para is worth looking into. I have a pool vehicle used by my staff and its my responsibility to ensure its maintained and legal. Its part of my H&S Risk Assessment and has to be legal for the safety of my staff.

Reply Posted by me on Thursday July 3 2014 at 22:15
well said big Bernie.....try a 12hr shift where I work. 2 twenty min breaks 4 ye. on ye feet all day then grafting 4 the min wage.. just get on with what ye paid to do.

Reply Posted by Tired para on Thursday July 3 2014 at 22:29
Bernie I think you need to check your facts. Basic wage for a paramedic is currently around the 24k mark for the majority of paramedics, less for those newly qualified.

Reply Posted by Carl on Thursday July 3 2014 at 22:43
Devils advocate can I please remind you that using the term Paramedic is a protected title and therefore illegal to use it when not HCPC register. I'm am very much doubting you are a paramedic.

Call 111 you say of you are a paramedic you would know that getting a 20 min call back never happens today it had take me 3 calls to them and 1 hour 50 waiting for a GP to call me back the until a call to 111 was for someone with hayfever apparently this warranted a R2 response the patient was handed back to 111 and discharged with advise, good job no one needed a ambulance in that time although my radio went off twice asking for any crews available.

I am sure you know The jobs we get passed from 111 are usually nonsense like hangovers, hayfever colds coughs diarrhoea vomiting aching elbow to list a few of what I have dealt with this week
Handover M&S do you know how many staff get reported for forgetting to say something in a handover can you imagine this happening as saying oh yes I was wanting to get a drink
Refuelling has to happen on station not a garages
I really don't think you are a paramedic devils advocate shame on you !

Reply Posted by Red Iculous on Thursday July 3 2014 at 22:53
Mr Tired para - 24k per annum plus 25% unsocial hours, thats 30K a year for a 37.5hr week. Too add, as much overtime as you want, 8 weeks paid leave, full sick pay for 12 months and for every late meal break you are paid 10 pounds tax free. I'm married to a paramedic and she has just finished a uni course paid for by the NHS and is now earning 40K plus. She is very happy at work, yes the shifts are long but the 12 hour shifts means she only works 3 days a week on average with 4 days off!! plenty of time to rest and be with the family. If you set of whinging moaning ambulance staff don't want a job as a paramedic please go get a proper job and work for a living.

Reply Posted by bod.bod on Thursday July 3 2014 at 23:07
Further more, why as yas got a chirman that is incapable of doing anything related to the ambulance service? and whilst we are at it get the people with pips and wreaths on their shoulders out doing somthing instead of the gentalmans club sat on their backside pretending their important. their are more people within YAS that are not fit for perpose any more and think that because they have been in the service for many years seem to think it gives them the right to stay there. get ride of them and the top dogs and the service may servive.
Keep going as they are and, people will die if they have not already!!!!!

Reply Posted by Big Bernie on Thursday July 3 2014 at 23:17
Tired Para, I believe you have a point but I have checked my facts just now & see that you fail to point out the fact that you all then get a blanket 25% shift allowance on top of the basic wage which considering basic Paramedics are on Agenda for Change Band 5 means the starting salary is actually £26847.50, rising every year until reaching the top increment of £34883.75. These figures are based on the 2014 figures & include your 25% shift allowance. I gather you also get paid your shift allowance when off ill or on annual leave too? Please feel free to correct me if I have missunderstood as I know the internet is sometimes not always a reliable source of accurate information.

Reply Posted by Devils Advocate on Thursday July 3 2014 at 23:20
Well said Red Lcuolus - and thanks Carl I'm more than up to date on my standards of proficiency. Go got a desk job if it so stressful.

If you ring 111 and tell them you are a paramedic on scene requesting a 20min call back from gp ooh they pass it straight on and you get a call back- I've never had a problem so don't see why you have. If you did have that problem did you put it on Datix so the Trust can do something about it or just winge and moan about it at hospital and on station?

Oh and you obviously send your crew mate to get you a drink while you handover, I wasn't for one second insinuation you jeapordises your clinical handover for a cuppa.

I'll say it again:- the job is as stressful as YOU make it.

Reply Posted by Devils Advocate on Thursday July 3 2014 at 23:23
Oh and don't forget big bernie we can claim every minute after a shift as overtime on time and a half. Some paramedics claim 10-15 mins at the end of shift to put morphine away and take the kit off the ambulance.

Reply Posted by Big Bernie on Thursday July 3 2014 at 23:27
I agree Red Iculous. I am very respectful of the job all ambulance people do but it seems when you look at the hard facts & compare the terms & conditions to the rest of the UK workforce, the massive job losses this country has suffered during the recession, including our brave service people who are putting their lives on the line thousands of miles away for our country, it is increasingly harder to have any sympathy really.

Reply Posted by Big Bernie on Thursday July 3 2014 at 23:39
Devils Advocate - that's something I didn't read on the internet! Lol. I think time & a half for any overtime & up to 6 months full pay when sick, then up to 6 months half pay for sickness after that is quite a good deal really. I don't want this interesting debate to turn into a slanging match but it's certainly been an eye opener this evening. I think we have to accept that the whole country is suffering at this difficult time but some, as always, suffer more than others & the ones who suffer less can't always expect symathy.....

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Wednesday July 9 2014 at 09:40
Big Bernie, you sound an extremely jealous individual.

Keyboard warrior.... Google it....

Reply Posted by red Iculous on Friday July 4 2014 at 00:06
The hard done by Unite ambulance staff have gone really quiet in the face of of some cold stone facts. My wife is working all weekend and will not be striking. She has more respect for her profession and the public she serves. The unite dispute is not about pay and conditions it's simply because they were de-recognised as a union because they have lost touch with the current economy (remember their posturing at Grange Mouth and their subsequent U turn when jobs were lost) To withdraw their services on the busiest weekend of the year is a disgrace and only the vulnerable will suffer and ultimately the people that commission ambulance services will go to the private companies to provide ambulance services. Lets see what their terms and conditions and pensions turn into then.

Reply Posted by Michael on Friday July 4 2014 at 00:10
I am an EMT with North West Ambulance Service but used to work for YAS and WYMAS prior to the merger. I can only say I am glad to be out of YAS. It is now and has always been run by idiots! The Chief Executive is a man who ran an Ambulance Service in the South West of England so badly it was merged with another by the Government, and I can't see it being long before YAS is facing the same fate.
The Ambulance Service across the country is struggling and the staff bear the brunt if it's not targets it's the management and regulatory body demanding we jump through ever more hoops to get more academic qualifications that are worthless without experience.
The Fire Service are forever walking out, in our eyes they don't know they are born!

Reply Posted by Carl on Friday July 4 2014 at 00:29
Devils advocate I don't think you are a paramedic what so ever I think you are comms staff so please apologise to all the genuine paramedics on here
It seems you are just stirring up trouble why would you do that ? Especially if you are a paramedic

Reply Posted by Skydriver on Friday July 4 2014 at 05:26
Surely you must be governed by drivers hours or some EU working hours law?

Reply Posted by Black Knight on Friday July 4 2014 at 07:20
Ambulance staff have an answer for everything!

Agenda for Change terms and conditions are generally quite good. As pointed out by some here, continuation of unsocial shift payments whilst on leave or sick is only paid to ambulance staff for example.

The job is what you make it, mostly one patient at a time and a little bit of clever multi tasking at hospital will allow you a brew and facility break at hospital without impacting on your turn around times.

It does sound like your new rota is not at all popular, I'd be interested to see your meal break policy. £10 for a late meal is a perverse incentive for staff to make themselves late for a meal. Whilst I'm sure most wouldn't dream of this and rightly want their meal on time, with so many staff bitter against the service I can see this being more of a problem in YAS.

It's likely a minority group of disgruntled workers making all the noise, and similarly the same group who will delay clearing or disappear to the shop to grab the meal they probably should have brought with them. This group of staff need to be more considerate to their colleagues who are playing by the book, for example RRVs who are on scene waiting for their assistance.

I would be interested to see the CQC guidance that states no food on ambulances. It makes sense but I doubt anyone would make this a formal requirement, let alone bother to enforce it.

CFR, and all the iterations of various managers sent to respond may well be a clock stopping exercise, at the end of the day, this is probably better than not sending anyone. I understand most qualified staff have worked hard for their qualifications, and how some might feel as if their role is less valuable.

I have mixed views, I do not support strike action, but it does sound as if the management team need to wake up, and some of the staff need to smell the coffee.

I was waiting 10 minutes to be served a pint the other day, the world could always use more bar staff....

Reply Posted by Martyn on Friday July 4 2014 at 08:04
If your cab is not clean enough to eat in your personal standards of IPC need addressing. Still doesn't mean you shouldn't get breaks but the moronic obsession with returning to the place you booked on to have your break is counterproductive, but then again so was the fantasy that a 6 week course was enough for band 5. If the unions hadn't been so greedy in the first place over tech pay and just taken the 2-3 thousand rise offered by band 4 ...

Reply Posted by Big Bernie on Friday July 4 2014 at 08:09
@huddsN - You certainly do not describe me young man! I was a proud member of the Royal Navy for 32 years! I have a son who serves with the Royal Marines & has done so now for 18 years, he is a Sargent.. He has spent the last several years of his career in and out of Afghanistan. He is married with 3 children & I can see how hard it is on his family but he never moans or groans, he just gets on with the job he signed up to do whatever the conditions! God willing he will return home safely once again so please don't talk to me about overtime, meal breaks, stress, long hours & sympathy because you are fast losing it with the general public! It is just a case of putting everything into perspective & getting on with your life. The conditions you work in may be far from perfect but stop & think about others for a moment & reflect. Let's not turn it into a slanging match but someone earlier mentioned waking up & smelling the coffee, I agree. I have always had a great deal of respect for ambulance staff and the fine role they play in our society but am quite sure that you do not represent the majority with your judgemental, aggressive childish attitude. You do your cause or colleagues no favours whatsoever! There are better ways of getting a point across without resorting to insult. Shame on you!

Reply Posted by Martyn on Friday July 4 2014 at 08:21
If your cab is not clean enough to eat in your personal standards of IPC need addressing. Still doesn't mean you shouldn't get breaks but the moronic obsession with returning to the place you booked on to have your break is counterproductive, but then again so was the fantasy that a 6 week course was enough for band 5. If the unions hadn't been so greedy in the first place over tech pay and just taken the 2-3 thousand rise offered by band 4 ...

Paras in band 6 - never going to happen lookat the 5 to 6 criteria for Midwives , the only group who get automatic promotiin.

Reply Posted by Red Iculous on Friday July 4 2014 at 08:44
Stephen, listen to yourself, you wrote -

Devils advocate you say the job is as stressful as we make it, how many dead children have you been to? How many major trauma jobs have you had? The other day myself and 2 others practically watched a patient die in front us as our interventions weren't working due to the patients presenting complaint. Obviously the distress caused by these sort of jobs is our own doing. You're an idiot.

Please tell me - who will attend these critically ill patients you describe when you walk out? Nurses (on the same pay and conditions) who witness the same scenario working in a busy A&E or a children's cancer ward never go on strike because it is against their professional ethics. To walk out on the busiest weekend of the year with an additional 6 million people in the county and roads gridlocked is using these vulnerable patients misery to further your petty unions dispute because they were de-recognised for displaying the unprofessional attitudes we witness today

Reply Posted by Stephen on Friday July 4 2014 at 09:09
I wish it were but a few making all the noise but over the years those few have turned into many. Everybody in every job will moan at some point over something that may seem trivial to others but might be seriously effecting the person doing the moaning. So rather than send abuse in our direction maybe people should start listening to what we are saying, we need more paramedics crews on the road to ease the pressure on us. Our ORCONs are nearly 6% below our minimum target for red calls and it's only 3 months into the monitoring period so god knows how the numbers are going to be fiddled with this year to get us looking like we are hitting our targets. Ain't going to happen. Too often we have outstanding jobs that RRVs are stuck on for hours on end as we haven't got the ambulance numbers to back them up. So many qualified staff are leaving, staff morale is non-existent anymore and we all look tired and run down. Our Rotas still aren't working and never will until more ambulances are added to the rota. The late meal break payment is daft and I've no idea how or why it was introduced but I'm not going to turn it down, would you? Don't think so.
YAS could quite easily set up an AP/ECA uplift to advance tech and pay us band 4 and the vast majority would do it as they want to able to progress rather than stagnate in a roll that everyone slags off.
Returning to your base station is more about having time to try and distance yourself from your work and have a break, especially after bad jobs. I certainly don't want to be in my ambulance all day, eating in there isn't a good idea, especially after the last patient who has vomited everywhere. Bit minging

Reply Posted by ECA on Friday July 4 2014 at 09:12
I also work for YAS and its about time management grew some balls and started telling time wasters who don't need ambulances to seek alternative medical attention. I've been to someone who knocked a scan off and someone else with a splinter. They both demanded to be transported to A&E. While we are dealing with these imbeciles we cannot get to the patients who really need our help. Unfortunately people think that if they go in by ambulance they will be seen first. It doesn't work like that as patients are triaged to assess their condition.
Going 7 hours without a meal break is illegal and we only get 45 minutes in a 12 hour shift. Most workers get 1.5 hours in an 8 hour shift!
We are all exhausted and our home lives are suffering. On the current rota staff are expected to work 13 shifts in 15 days. How can anyone sustain that?
We want to do our job well but are unable to do so because we are pushed beyond belief.
Managers are way overpaid and we the workers have not had a pay rise for years!

Reply Posted by ECA on Friday July 4 2014 at 09:23
Red Iculous I would love to know which ambulance service your wife works for having just graduated and earning £40k? Do you make your wife work every overtime shift available? The £10 meal allowance is also NOT tax free. We work more than 25% unsocial hours, more like 33%. Sick pay is 6 months full pay, 6 months half pay like most employers.
It's obvious that your wife is new to the job as you are living in a little idyllic bubble, but that will soon pass believe me!

Reply Posted by Stephen on Friday July 4 2014 at 09:33
Hahaha mate you are funny. Saturday morning i will be getting up at 4am to get to work for 5am, I'm then spending the next 12-14 hours depending on a number of factors providing ambulance cover for the crowds attending the Tour de France. Did I mention that no matter how many hours I work over 12 that I will only get paid for 12 hours? That's fine though because on Sunday I get to do it all again :) regardless of wether I get a proper 11 hour turnaround I will be there on the hills of Yorkshire providing first class ambulatory care for the public. I have never gone on strike in my life (7 years with YAS so far) and don't intend to. I volunteered to work these hours (yes I still get paid for them) as we were looking potentially short staffed at the time. I think it's brilliant the effort gone to by the ambulance service to not only provide cover for the Tour de France but also other private events in Yorkshire and also the normal frontline cover for the millions in Yorkshire. Stop being a childish trouble causer.

Reply Posted by One member of the public on Friday July 4 2014 at 09:37
Talking of waking up and smelling the coffee, whatever happened to working class solidarity? Some posters seem to think that because someone is earning more than them, and has (to their mind) a generous pension, that they are wrong to strike.

Do you like being part of the race to the bottom?

Do you enjoy earning less for more hours and worse working conditions?

Are you happy to be lining the pockets of fat cats, bankers and MPs?

People do not strike for a day off, they strike because they have a grievance which has not been addressed.

As for there being no money, this is one of the richest countries in the world, there is money, it has just been moved into the pockets of big business. We need a fairer distribution of wealth.

Our forefathers knew that they had to take collective action but years of listening to neo-liberal dogma in the media have dulled the olfactory nerve in some. Please people, wake up and smell the coffee, support your fellow workers.

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Wednesday July 9 2014 at 09:44
I could not have put it any better than that OMOTP.

There will NEVER be a fairer distribution of wealth as Labour are simply Tory Lite who have nearly as many millionaires in the cabinet as the Tories do.

Reply Posted by I see both sides on Friday July 4 2014 at 09:47
One thing does need to change, we do need more ambulances. Full stop. End of.
Some of the points made by the Paramedics are true, I do feel they're a bit 'woe is me' though. They are supposed to have 20 min vehicle check at the beginning of a shift. Granted, this sometimes just does not happen. If there is an emergency waiting, they get sent on it. How do you explain to Mrs Smith on the 999 call that yes, her husband may indeed be having chest pains, but we can't send the only ambulance we have available because they need to check their vehicle (which was probably only checked 12 hours before by the previous crew), and they will attend to her husband in 20 minutes after they've looked at their vehicle tyres.

The crews are now also protected by not going on any calls categorised less than 'immediately life threatening' in the last 45 minutes of their shift. So sorry Mrs Jones, we can't send the nearest ambulance to your baby that is having difficulty breathing because it hasn't coded high enough, and the only crew available are off shift in 45 minutes and attending your baby might make them 20 minutes late off. There is an element of protection there for the crews, and YAS are trying (within reason) to ensure they are not late off. But the service is what it is. It's an emergency service. It's unpredictable. No one knows what the next call will be, in what area, and how long that call will take. As far as I can see everything is being done to try and minimise the late shift ends (which overtime is paid for), and the missed meal breaks (which £10 is paid for), but without a ton more ambulances to join the service nothing will change

Reply Posted by ECA on Friday July 4 2014 at 10:00
I See Both Sides do you seriously think that calls are not upgraded within the last 45 minutes of a shift so that they can use the crew who are supposed to be finishing, and then also have the crew who are starting too? I would rather finish on time as much as possible so that I could make plans like normal workersthan get enforced overtime! I have finished 3 hours late making my shift 15 hours long!
It is an exhausting job, lifting people downstairs, pulling the stretcher, transferring patients, driving on blue lights, dealing with idiots in the road who have no idea what to do when we come behind them.
We are not pen pushers, we lift, carry, pull, push all day long. Try doing that on an empty stomach, in hot ambulances that stink of vomit because they are very rarely deep cleaned!

Reply Posted by Stephen on Friday July 4 2014 at 10:08
The 45 minute 'protection period' is there but doesn't really seem to be working from my experience as jobs are often upgraded to a higher category (especially if an ambulance is within 8 minutes of the caller). A baby with difficulty breathing should never be anything less than a RED 2 priority so we would definitely be send to that. RED1,2 and certain GREEN codes are not protected by the 45 minute thing. No crew will be angry at being late off for a genuine job. We will get angry at being late off for someone with a trivial problem that their own GP could sort out but that's a different problem entirely. We all know we are going to be late off every shift and we get on with it. A few people are saying that we are all a bit 'woe is me' and that we should be grateful to even have jobs, I'm sure most are grateful every day. All of us are proud at what we have achieved, that we stay strong and calm in situations that are chaotic. We just want to see improvements to the service that benefit everyone, if you see that as selfish then fine.

Reply Posted by eca on Friday July 4 2014 at 10:59
I agree with 999 paramedic, we are pushed to the limits, I have bn that tired at near end of shift that we as a crew find it difficult to drive because eyes are tired and stinging, so tired that when dealing with pts you have to keep asking the same questions repeatedly so that it sinks in the over tired brain, we have to work ip to 8 hrs + without food, fluid intake at minimal, we are getting poorly, stressed and so tired that we cannot function professionaly, staff moral as gone, we all look so tired and drained, when will it stop, when something dreadful happens, either to one of my colleagues or to one of your family members, were not looking for pity, just decent working conditions! !!!!!!!!

Reply Posted by Hooty 87 on Friday July 4 2014 at 11:41
I totally agree with my colleague who comments as 999paramedic,i too am a Paramedic with over 20 years experience i predominantly work the Doncaster area where crew's are constantly dragged way out of area answering call's in York,Castleford,Selby and even Further North and west at times even being sent on call's as far as the east coast and Hull not to mention spending most or your entire shift in Leeds!! I started my career way back in the early 90's i loved my job and like all Emergency personnel i chose my profession sure back then and until recently you had the odd end of shift and were late off it comes with the job we know we can't just clock off if a call come's in we answer it, do the best we can but you generally finished in your own area, these days at the end of a shift crews can return to station at the end of their shift well over and in excess of 2 hours just due to drive time from where ever their last job was.The meal break policy is a joke it's been enforced that you can or management think keep going for well over 7 hours without a break and believe me this is done on a regular basis i have even known crews to be sat eating 40 minutes before their 10/12 hour shift is due to end they look physically and mentally exhausted in any other industry or organisation they would have finished work and be sat at home enjoying a meal with their family,not so the Ambulance Service!!
I have never felt so tired and exhausted in my 20 years on the road.I feel for the kid's and loved one's that don't see each other it's a vicious circle how can you have a home life when for 12 hours you have been completely run ragged all i want to do is crawl in to bed!! I am very good at my job well respected by my colleagues and peers for my competency knowledge and experience but even i cannot perform to the level of excellence that my profession demands to treat patient's after 9/10 hour's without a break It's just unfeasible.I too would be happy not to strike but i will support my union my colleagues and the people of Yorkshire if it come's to a walk out then i will the current regime running the Ambulance Service in Yorkshire needs to go!

Reply Posted by Angela on Friday July 4 2014 at 13:02
Devils advocate... While I agree with ur comments, and yes I do all those things... We need some support as it is we get very little empathy other than that of our colleagues ....better working conditions better staff moral better patient outcome....

Reply Posted by Si the knackered paramedic on Friday July 4 2014 at 13:38
So this morning I was 2 hours late off from a 12 hour shift I started at 6pm Wednesday and finished 830 am Thursday, I don't get a meal break until 230am I left home at 4 pm as I am stationed, not through my choice, at a station 50 mins drive from where I live, I pass two other station on the way to work, I have had a transfer request submitted for a year and a half, after been forced to move stations by management a year and a half ago due to staffing level cuts and reducing of cover. I was out of the house 18 hours in total for a 12 hour shift. I was like many of my colleagues last night non stop busy mostly dealing with people that didn't need ambulances causes by a incompetent service "111" the best call I had last night was someone with tooth ache and their gum was bleeding due to brushing too hard, because of the word bleeding our dispatcher catogrised this as a serious call coding it a R2, I'm sure devils advocate or I see both sides or what ever other name you will call yourself will state it's a computer that grades the call and yes I agree it it but seriously a R2 !! Can we not thing or triage ourselfs and no I'm sure you will defied this.
When I was passed this job I was 30 mins away from the call I dealt on scene and explained that a dentis in the morning will be able to fix the tooth ache and there not much A and E will be able to do. Just in case A and E stands for accident and emergency.
And then the crunch 30 seconds to the end of my shift I was passed a G2 I questioned it and yes you guessed it, Coms upgraded it because it had been outstanding too long there was no cover for me to be taken off not because of the strike just because there was no one rotaed on to start at 6 am the job was a non traumatic injury fall from bed 25 minute drive away from my station and according to Coms no one closer, good job the old dear wasn't having a MI (heart attack) when I arrived the lady fortunately wasn't injured but just couldn't managed to pick herself up, she was a rather large lady and there was no way I could pick her up on my own wothouth causing injury to her it my self, I did all the checks she was fine and reasonably health so no need to travel to A and E, she just wanted picking up of the floor, I was informed 40 mins after being in scene there was still no crews available, this isn't Friday or Saturday night it's Friday morning and before 7 am !!!
I made the lady a tea and toast which she ate sat in the floor, she was become distress was as she needed the toilet and unfortunately and quiet sickening she had to open her bowls and pass urine where she was sat, how dignified the poor lady was so upset and as much reassurance I could give wasn't enoughg. The crew finally arrived help pick her up and cleaned her, she was still tearful when we left. RRVs are single person staffed and have no lighting equipment on unlike most other ambulance services RRV's eg LAS NWAS SECAS, we are the poor relations unless you count the bosses BMWs company cars.
I don't miss so much as been late off helping people what I do get annoyed with is when such as this devils bloke or what ever they are calling the selfs Skaggs us hard working front line staff off like they have done, the fault lays at management
Is it fare we have left this old lady in the floor so long and let her become in the state she has ? Is it fare to watch a women mess her self because she's has been in the floor so long ? If this person had borked her hip and left on the floor that long there is a possibility she could have does due to the massive annoying of blood loss, I requested a crew over and over again and I was told repeatedly non available ! So please devil person alleged paramedic (doubtful) I look forward to you defending yourself on this incident
And people reading this, please not this is not a rare occasion earlier this week on a 12 hour shift I only attended 7 calls unfortunately I was waiting over 1 hour for a crew to back me up and and one call 3 hours for a GP to call me back

Reply Posted by Si on Friday July 4 2014 at 14:01
Sorry for some of the spelling just tired and can't sleep
I said lighting equipment i mean lifting equipment
There a inflatable cushion that slides under the patient and lifts them from the floor
Excellent but of kit simple to use and safe to use with one person operating it
In Yas we have one per station ish ! Not every station has one

Reply Posted by Black Knight on Friday July 4 2014 at 14:10
Si raises some interesting points.

Firstly, if there is a protection policy in place - which makes good sense: reduce overtime, ensure on time finishes, make sure vehicle is on station for handover - then comms shouldn't be upgrading stuff to get around the policy - what's the point in the protection policy!?

I have to say though, would you have waited an hour on scene if you were due to finish in 10 mins? I think not... Would you have waited all that time for GP to ring back if you were in some crack den and didn't want to be there? Nope.
Would you have waited all that time unsupported if crews weren't dragging out their jobs to get late meal payments? Probably not.
Would you be stuck at hospital as often if crews made the referrals available to you and stopped sending people to A/E, again so you can elongate your jobs?

Nothing personal against you guys, I get it - you're all knackered - I once had the highest respect for emergency crews, for the job you do and the way you cope with things... Not so much anymore, as bitching, moaning, and striking seems to be the way forward - who do you think you are, Fire Fighters!? Stop sulking, take some solutions to your managers, write up an initiative, whatever... Do something how about it! How else do you think all this is going to get resolved??

Reply Posted by Pink on Friday July 4 2014 at 15:11
As a comms collegue I agree with all the points the road staff have made and I support the action you are taking. The only point I disagree with is the G2 calls within the protected 45 min end of shift don't get upgraded unless the caller rings back and the PTs condition has worsened therefore the detail may recode to a higher graded call. But we in comms don't purposely upgrade them. It's frustration to see a crew drive past these calls and not be able to put the crew on it with the protection in place knowing that the G2 call would proberly see the crew off to finishing on time. In my opinion it's delaying an emergeny and most of us know that many G2 details are the genuine jobs that are coded incorrectly.
We also get frustrated with the time wasters that constantly abuse the service and put road staff lives at risk running distances on blue lights to attend non life threatening emergencys.
Yes this weekend is a big event but EVERY weekend in comms is a busy but we don't get extra staff then!
And where are the managers on a weekend? Oh yes tucked up in bed with their families!
The reason they are having to strike is because no one listens! If that was the case they wouldn't be striking!
These professionals are trying to make it the ambulance service it once was caring about what suppose to matter THE GENUINE PATIENT! X

Reply Posted by Si on Friday July 4 2014 at 15:43
Black night, nice change of name again !
Please tell me how you would have got a GP to call me back, out if hours? I waited 30 mins and contacted 111 again, having to go through all the details again and then waited again and repeated the process.
And what would you have done in a crack den ???? Do I now get to choose to walk out of houses when II feel like it perhaps even if I don't like the colour of the carpet
No matter what social back ground if I request a crew or handover to a HCP I have to wait with the patient until all the correct paper work had been completed and a care plan on place or until the crew arrive
I don't get change to sit in a nice office heated or air conditioned some of the houses we visit are terrible some are really nice ones
It seams you are here to undermined everything we say
Why is this ?
Please be reassured I am far from lazy like you try and make out I'm hard working and committed to serving everyone of the patients I attend

Reply Posted by yorkpara999 on Friday July 4 2014 at 15:55
Rainbow you need to get a grip of yourself !! Come and do it if you think its that easy !! You wouldnt last 5 minutes.
Jane as for being selfish !! Thats the crassest comment I've heard in years !! We aint doin it for money !! We are doin it for You , your family & the people of Yorkshire so you can all have a professional ambulance service staffed by professional competant staff . If you want some muppet with a first aid certificate who has worked for hours & doesnt comply with the European working time direct knockin on your door in your hour of need then you crack on lass !! I for one will not standby& let this happen !! 70yrs ago millions of people gave their lives so we can have what we have today , just think on before you call us selfish !

Reply Posted by Steve on Friday July 4 2014 at 19:17
Rainbow you are a classic example of jealous loser, I just want to make one thing clear I wouldn't care if paramedics were sat with there feet up all day in an ambulance as long as they were there when I needed them alert and ready to deal with any incident that was thrown there way, people forget that it is like insurance you may never need it but you your thankfull you got it first time anything happens, while ever there's people like you in the world the country is doomed, just cos your not intellectual enough to train to be a paramedic you shouldn't expect other workers to give away there working conditions something that is agreed when a contract is signed why are contracts worth so little to the government unless it fills the riches pockets with even more money, support your public sector as one day you may need them to support you!

Reply Posted by 999paramedic on Friday July 4 2014 at 19:46
I would like to thank everyone for the comments and their support in theses dark days of the NHS ambulance service, I'm not sure there is or will be a solution, perhaps more frontline qualified staff would be a start and less manages I think I read on here there were over 200 manages in YAS ?
It's a shame bug not surprising there are negative comments especially the ones from devils advocate, see it from both sides and black night I do suspect like has already been said that 1, you are the same person and 2 you work in Coms ! I am not sure what you are trying to gain with you negative comments, but just to stir trouble and bad feeling, you need to go look in a morrow at your self and have a think it appears you have a negativeness about front line crews, and yes there are some lazy crews but ther are a lot of hard working dedicated members of staff, that are here and upset because YAS can not provide why we are suppose to provide, a safe and patient focuses service, staff are being broken by the changes and you know this it's a shame you are classes as one of my colleagues. As far as saying you are a paramedic yourself that's a disgrace ! I hope we find out who you are and you are reported to the HCPC as someone has states it's a offence to use the title paramedic as it's protected. I also know there at very lazy Coms staff and also very good ones, a few that are always outside for cigeret breaks, if staff in Coms need a drink or loo the can get up from there seat and go for one easy as that they a least finish on time and very rarely late off, they do a difficult job also and there are some very hard working staff up there and to be honest I wouldn't want their job
The comments from wife and daughter are the voice of many and it's so sad, being a paramedic is one of the best jobs ever there isn't another career like it I really do love my job and I try and give 110% but sometimes this is difficult and YAS management are the ones and only ones stopping us from doing us job. I wouldn't want anyone unqualified looking after my family for any length of time with out back up, think about this if you take you dog to the vet who do you want to examine it and make the decision on treatment ? If you go I I hospital would you feel safe on a ward or in a and e with only care assistants looking after you with no doctors or nurses there ?
The strike this weekend is a hard descion to take but please be assured that all the events are covered with a lot of extra staff on a busy weekend nights or bank holiday night there's no extra crews on, is is safe for a ambulance to travel 30 miles to an emergency ? I think not and it's not fair for a patient to wait for a ambulance when in genuine need
Let's keep up the support for YAS front line clinicians and fight for a service we deseve to provide

Reply Posted by Red Iculous on Friday July 4 2014 at 20:00
Dear ECA, my wife is a paramedic practitioner for YAS and has been for 20+ years, I assume you have been in the service for half that service. Apparently YAS paid RRV staff band 6 before they even trained her and paid for her to go to Uni. Thank you YAS. So get your calculator out and look at the top of band 6 and add 25% to it. She does not work overtime, has an excellent attendance record, works very hard and I am extremely proud of the work she does and her commitment to patients, her employer and the NHS. She earns every penny of her wage. Since then she has gone on to complete her Bsc in paramedic science, paid for by the NHS although she did attend uni in her own time. My son has just applied for uni and a similar course will leave him with a 20k debt. So ECA, take a leak out of her book, stop whining, get off your backside , open a book and educate yourself. Taking patients to A&E with a splinter in their finger - the clinician who supervises you should be educated in the use of pathways and signposting patients to more appropriate care

Reply Posted by ECA on Saturday July 5 2014 at 09:48
Ah Red Iculous, your wife was one of the spongers who took money for a job that they weren't even qualified to do before even doing the course!
She'll also be one of the practitioners who sit on their arse refusing to take jobs for whatever excuse she can think off! No wonder she has an excellent record, she's hardly pushed is she?!!
As for the splinter, if a patients demands to be taken to hospital we have no choice but to do that. We are not allowed to refuse. I suggest YOU get off your arse and educate yourself!

Reply Posted by ECA on Saturday July 5 2014 at 09:53
Red Iculous I'm sure with the money your wife is creaming out of YAS you can well afford to put your son through Uni so he doesn't incur the 20k debt. Or did you squander away the money your wife was paid that she wasn't entitled to? Don't come here with your pity party!

Reply Posted by Red iculous on Saturday July 5 2014 at 11:51
Dear ECA - you have missed the point as usual, i'm not after pity we don't require it thank you. YAS and the NHS has given my family a comfortable living, security and an education. My wife works on a busy city station and completes 10 or 12 jobs a day, mainly Red calls just like all the other staff. She is generally late off and she sometimes gets her meal breaks late. Like all the other sensible people on here she does however make sure she gets a drink and something to eat between jobs to maintain her own health and safety. I could but will not be paying my son's uni fee's as i feel strongly that he should value his education and paying for it will make sure he puts the effort and not become a whinging, whining gibbering freeloader who feels everyone owes him a living - a bit like you really.

Reply Posted by ECA on Saturday July 5 2014 at 20:47
How am I a freeloader when I work for a living?

Reply Posted by Middleground on Saturday July 5 2014 at 22:19
Let's all be honest, the biggest issue we face is the fact that YAS management perceive their staff to be lazy - when in fact they're being worked to exhaustion (i'm one of them, a 'reasonable' member of staff, and believe me, we are) and staff perceive managers as being completely uninterested in their welfare - this has been a constant complaint from staff in my 15 years of service - and I can honestly say that morale is at it's lowest point i've ever seen.

We have had a 15% increase in demand which is unprecedented and unexplainable, road staff believe it is 111 but this doesn't explain the whole story.
YAS as a service are currently operating at 96% capacity, unheard of in police and fire brigade terms and frankly we are struggling - managers assumptions about staff are being combined with sheer desperation to produce plans which are intolerable for staff and frankly unsafe.

Staff concerns about double ECA crews are based on the 'ground truth' of day to day operations, where a responder with a DESPERATELY ill person has to wait 60mins plus before an ambulance will arrive to transport the patient to definitive care, that SAME responder is supposed to back up an unqualified ECA crew but cannot do so because they are tied up on a previous job awaiting transport, therefore the model being proposed is essentially unsafe.

Our control will also 'lose interest' on a job when a resource is on scene as they have covered the ORCON and frequently dont undestand the clinical repercussions of many of the jobs they leave staff abandoned to, hence once the ECA crew arrives, the problem is 'solved' from a management perspective, not so when a community responder arrives on scene, a KEY difference.

This practice is all being driven by the ORCON performance management system which is becoming increasingly irrelevant and forcing ambulance services into some very dubious practices, ie solo responders to 'stop the clock' on jobs which obviously need an ambulance to transport patients urgently - YAS's desperation is being caused by poor ORCON performance and they have responded with an intrinsically unsafe model.

If YAS is ever to succeed, managers need to take a long hard look at how they treat their staff, it will take 2 years to replace an experienced paramedic with an inexperienced university educated paramedic, and EVERYONE I know is talking about leaving the service.

Reply Posted by papapara on Monday July 7 2014 at 21:17
there is some really good points on here and I totally agree with middlegrounds commnets.
I feel like the days of a YAS take over may be coming soon, which saddens me, I have worked for London Ambulance and also North East and once YAS was a service that was lloked upon as good, we use to use their training school to teach techs to Paras at North East, but now ! ......... its a terrible service I have 4 years until i reach pension and im now counting the days Im not sure i will manage it every day is a hard struggle to leave for work.
Today i was sent to a women in labour birth iminent, most services send two or three resourses as once the child is born you have two patients, i was on my own and had to manage both, midwives dont attend anymore for home unplanned births. I was on scene 1 hour 15 mins waiting for a ambulance, lukily mother and baby fine, but lets just say and this happens, baby pops out not breathing, mums bleeding heavy and dropping BP, theres only me on my own what do i do first ??
2nd call women laid in a busy main road fall but can not stand and in pain I diaganose a broken hip so can not move her as she needs to be lifted on a scoop and put staright on a strecher, i dont carry either on a RRV so im stood in a main road for 50 mins waiting for a crew putting myself the patient and 2 other very kind by standers at risk of injury from the traffic that just needs to get by ! IS this fair ? and this is why action is being taken agains YAS managers

Reply Posted by Mike Newton on Tuesday July 8 2014 at 17:09
Every employed person should have the right to withdraw thier labour. It is fundemental to the contract of employment. Some people argue that it is insufficient have a simple majority of people voting to enable strike action. Unfortunately we have a Con/Lib government that was voted in by a minority of those who voted. Does that give the electorate the right to refuse to follow laws enacted by this government that does not govern by the will of the majority of the electorate.

Reply Posted by dd on Tuesday July 8 2014 at 17:37
i had to call 999. ambulance+PARAMEDIC got to me very quick. no disrespect to ambulance personnel but paramedic had to treat me. they need trained staff not joe bloggs with a bit of first aid knowledge. i back the ambulane + paramedic staff up 100%

Reply Posted by Collet on Tuesday July 8 2014 at 20:18
Nobody should have to work 10 hours with or without a break,three shifts of 8 hrs, with time for cupa taken when Nowts doing,that should solve the problem,simples !!!!!??

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Wednesday July 9 2014 at 10:12
I have been reading the comments on this post for a few days now and it seems there are a lot of jealous people with nothing better to do than moan about something they know absolutely NOTHING about.

My brother is a paramedic and is seriously considering leaving the service to go and work in the middle east as he is absolutely sick and tired of the constant changes in the service.

The introduction of the ECA's is the final straw as far as he is concerned.

Paramedics have been cut year on year by the Tories in a futile experiment which is simply a cost cutting exercise, despite Hospital manager numbers going through the roof on an ever upward spiral.

He is in absolute despair that after 18 years of exemplary service he finds his day to day job as a Para almost impossible, hence looking for pastures new.

Reply Posted by m on Friday July 11 2014 at 19:03
I work in the NHS and we are also expected to go without break's a lot of the time whilst nursing patients, not even a drink of water. Expected to stay after shift to fill relative paperwork in and when it comes to training alot done on line not face to face, it doesn't work because most of us don't get time given to do it. In other words own time again. Cuts Cuts Cuts that's why I'm backing the action taken only wish we could as Nurses, where would they be then.

Reply Posted by Paranotletic on Monday July 14 2014 at 13:13
Nurse are over worked I agree and like most health service workers. Nurses choose not to strike, there are no laws stating they can not. Only the police and HMP can not strike

ipso Regulated