Joint Ambulance Trade Union Statement
15 November 2016
Paramedic banding update – Band 6 profile publication
In September we announced that the NHS Staff Council had agreed to publish a new Band 6 paramedic profile along with technical guidance from JEG to help local matching panels evaluate their current paramedic roles.
It has taken a little longer than hoped but we are very pleased to welcome the publication the profile by the NHS Staff Council. The significance of this development should not be underestimated. The production of this profile has taken two years of joint collaborative work between trade unions, partnership working with employers and other national groups and bodies.
The Band 6 Paramedic profile is available for all UK countries to use. Separate discussions will take place about how this is implemented in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. In England the Band 6 Paramedic Profile is part of a package involving the development of a Newly Qualified Paramedic role and national funding through central Government.
The new profile recognises the evolution of the paramedic role over the last decade and the increases in skills and responsibilities of the contemporary paramedic. We know that with the implementation of the Urgent and Emergency Care Review the “see and treat” and “hear and treat” role of the paramedic is fundamentally important. Work will take place between employers, trade unions and other parties to ensure greater consistency to the scope of paramedic practice.
However, there is still much to do. The final agreement needs to be signed up to by all parties involved. Each ambulance service will then need to undertake a local job matching process, in partnership with local trade unions, to evaluate their paramedic roles. As the matching is done on a Trust by Trust basis we cannot guarantee every paramedic band 6, however we have agreed that, in the event of a paramedic matching to the new Band 6 Profile, the effective date for pay purposes, will be 31 December 2016. For more details please see the frequently asked questions which will help explain the detail behind the package and how the transition will work.
In the coming weeks and months we will be working with operational, clinical and HR colleagues along with NHS Employers and the College of Paramedics to scope out the Newly Qualified Paramedic role and how a period of consolidation of learning/preceptorship can help improve retention of graduate paramedics entering the ambulance service.
Once the job matching process is complete and paramedics have been assimilated to the Band 6 profile, we will continue to work in partnership with employers and other key system stakeholders (such as NHS England, NHS Improvement, commissioners) to deliver consistency and clarity to the purpose, duties and responsibilities of the role of a paramedic across all ten ambulance trusts.
We will continue to influence and lobby to ensure that we represent your views in any national discussions relating to future workforce changes.
Alongside the pay negotiations we are also embarking on an ambitious collaborative piece of work to look at improving the health and wellbeing of ambulance staff. This will involve working in partnership with employers and NHS leaders to deliver a 2 year strategic plan and ensure your health, safety and wellbeing is given the right focus and improvements needed during these challenging times.
Our collective voice is strong. Working together we make a difference.