Branch Secretary update ‘A Time for Change’. A&E Support Band 3 and Paramedics

Dear All,

The Union cannot do anything without your help and support. I am writing to ask you for both.

The London Ambulance Service is going through major changes, both in the Senior Management structure and also in the way that we deliver our responses to the people of London.

You have all seen the proposals within the Chief Executive’s modernisation plans ‘A Time For Change’.

I have written to the Chief Executive outlining LAS UNISON’s initial response. This has been widely circulated but for ease of reference you can view it by clicking here.

There are lots of issues that we will be involved in as we get into the detail of some of these proposals. I expect these to run their course through the agreed structures for trade union/management consultations. Staff will also be involved of course.

These are all important issues and I know a lot of the proposals are emotive. Some more so than others. Please go to the Chief Executive’s second round of road shows if you can and raise your concerns and questions.

There is one proposal, however, that is pressing of which I need to be very clear.

This is the proposal to put staff, with a skill level at Band 3 within Agenda for Change (as in ‘A Time for Change’), alongside a paramedic responding to the full range of accident & emergency calls.

UNISON strongly opposes this.

We do not oppose this on a whim. This is not a lack of support for our A&E Support staff and members. It is the opposite in fact.

Our opposition is because we do support A&ES staff.

We believe to put a member of staff with a skill level at Band 3 within Agenda for Change with a Paramedic (as in ‘A Time for Change’) to respond to the full range of accident & emergency calls, puts them at risk, puts the Paramedic at risk and puts the patient at risk.

Our opposition is also because we support our Paramedic members and staff.

They are the forgotten people in all of this. They are the legally registered professional. In our view they have nothing to gain, and everything to lose, if the proposal as set out in ‘A Time for Change’ goes ahead.

We are not against A&E Support staff working with Paramedics. We are not against a proper clinical skill mix. We are not against modernising our responses to the people we serve.

We support all that but with the right skills, the right Agenda for Change Banding and the confidence that this is not just a de-skilling and down-banding of a Front-line accident and emergency London ambulance. We support the London Ambulance Service as a safe, professional public service.

We are still discussing this issue and going through the agreed channels and structures.

Please support your union. Please support Paramedics. Please support A&E Support staff.

Best wishes

Eric

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