Trade unionists and health campaigners will be outside Hull Royal Infirmary tomorrow (16 January) amid growing revelations and concerns that Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) is putting patients at risk by silencing whistle–blowers.
The protest follows new revelations obtained through a Freedom Of Information request lodged by Unite with the Yorkshire Ambulance Service. It reveals that the service alarmingly downgraded almost 11,000 emergency calls between January and December 2014.
The union will have a giant cardboard ambulance equipped with flashing lights to highlight the crisis facing the people of Yorkshire.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has begun its inspection of the Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS). The inspection is part of the final stages of YAS’s application to become a foundation trust which would give the board more powers to increase the pay of senior management, the ability to borrow money and the right to generate up to 49 per cent of its revenue from private income. Unite maintains that YAS must not be rewarded with more powers for its failures.
Unite has been inundated with concerns from patients, the public and employees about Yorkshire Ambulance Service. The union, set-up a whistle–blowers website for the public and workers across the whole of Yorkshire amid growing concerns around possible life threatening issues at Yorkshire Ambulance Service.
Concerns have been expressed by workers and the public over a number of months around possible life threatening issues at Yorkshire Ambulance Service.
Concerns have included:
- Emergency Care Assistants (ECA) sent out to emergencies without a qualified paramedic
- Concerns that here may be evidence that points to emergency codes being altered to reach targets
- Concerns that staff who became whistle–blowers and their union are being targeted and gagged
- Concerns over the accuracy of accounts.
Unite assistant general secretary, Gail Cartmail said: “The growing concerns and revelations surrounding Yorkshire Ambulance Service needs to be thoroughly investigated. Unite has been inundated with concerns from patients, the public and employees about Yorkshire Ambulance Service. Paramedics who have warned for years of patients’ lives potentially being put at risk by decisions made at the top of the Yorkshire Ambulance Service have been targeted and gagged by senior management and their board.
“The service is responsible for 5 million potential patients and their safety should be the service’s top priority. It’s simply wrong for YAS to be attempting to become a foundation trust, which would give the board greater powers.”