Under-fire Yorkshire Ambulance Service recruiting frontline staff

Date:14th January 2010.'Ambulances at Leeds General Infirmary Jubilee Wing.
Date:14th January 2010.'Ambulances at Leeds General Infirmary Jubilee Wing.
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Ambulance bosses say they will have recruited 110 more frontline staff before the end of the year.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) said there were 70 more paramedics than a year ago, and 150 more would be trained up during the next three years.

YAS has faced criticism from the Unite union, which claims safety is being compromised because semi-skilled care assistants are being sent to 999 call-outs.

The union, which was de-recognised by YAS for collective bargaining on behalf of its members, lobbied MPs in Westminster on November 20 over fears that £46m in cuts to the YAS budget over the next five years would harm patient care.

But YAS said its recruitment plans would increase the number of qualified paramedics in the organisation in the same period.

YAS chief executive David Whiting said: “We have worked extremely hard to produce the right A&E workforce plan for the Trust over the next five years.

“The investment that we are making in frontline emergency staff will further improve the quality and safety of the services we provide to our patients.”

YAS said hundreds of staff would also have the opportunity to train for more senior jobs, including paramedic roles.

Mr Whiting added: “People across Yorkshire and the Humber rely on us and our absolute focus is to ensure that we continue to deliver a safe, responsive and high quality service when they need us most.

“We have also sought to ensure we protect the current employment and future career prospects of our A&E staff as much as we possibly can during these challenging economic times.”