Union raises rota concerns

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THE UNION representing paramedics at Ilkeston ambulance station have said staff are concerned about the changes to the rota and night time cover.

Last week East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) said that they were considering the introduction of staggered shifts meaning night time cover would be reduced but there would be more ambulances on duty during ‘times of high demand’.

If proposed plans go ahead there will be two ambulances during the day, one on a twilight shift and one throughout the night.

As it stands there are always two ambulances on shift 24 hours a day.

Catherine Mellors, Unison spokesman for staff at Ilkeston station, said: “Staff across the whole county are concerned about changes.

“Staff in Ilkeston are particularly worried about the changes, especially because of what it will mean for night time coverage.

She added: “Our members countywide have real concerns over staffing levels, emergency care reductions and the use of private companies.

“There are jobs that need filling.”

A spokesperson for EMAS said: “The decision to make changes to operational rotas has been made after a full consultation with our staff and their representatives.

“It is our understanding that our staff are happy with the proposed new arrangements as they themselves proposed them as part of the discussions.

“We are confident that the revised rotas will provide better cover for the Ilkeston area during times of high demand.”

On the subject of staffing levels, he continued: “Within Derbyshire as whole we have vacancies for just 10 front line staff out of a total workforce of over 420 and are actively recruiting against those vacancies.

“We do currently have a recruitment freeze on management positions, but not on the front line to allow us to ensure resources are channelled directly to patient care.”