LONDON AMBULANCE SERVICE AT RISK

Remember what Cameron said before the election?

He said that the NHS would not be cut in real terms, that no ‘front line’ staff would go.

 

Remember what he said after the election?

The NHS is safe with the coalition. Spending on the NHS would be ‘ring fenced’. True, he said that the NHS would be cut by £20 billion in four years,  but these cuts wouldn’t affect front line staff or services to patients.

Was he telling the truth?

There is nowhere more front line in health care than the Ambulance Service, and the London Ambulance Service, the largest in the world, has now found out whether these promises are to be kept.

In the next five years £53 million is to be taken out of a budget of £262 million.

  • In the next year this means 162 jobs to go, 130 of which are what Cameron would call ‘front line’
  • Over the next five years a massive 890 jobs will be lost, 560 of which will be road crews, as front line as they come.
  • So between now and 2015 the LAS will lose nearly one-in-five of the staff who care directly for Londoners

UNISON, the ambulance workers Union, is warning Londoners about this appalling situation.

Regional Organiser Phil Thompson said, “This is being forced on the Service by the government. These cuts are so deep they may not heal. If allowed to be carried out they will put at risk the many Londoners who rely on the LAS every day. With demand escalating & nearly 1,000 fewer staff no-one can now be sure of a safe service.”

London Ambulance worker Eric Roberts, UNISON Branch Secretary, said, “I am shocked by the size of these cuts. This is a cull of highly trained staff. It is disgusting, morally wrong & unacceptable. Have they forgotten the Olympics? How will we cope with the biggest sporting event in the world with hundreds fewer skilled staff? All staff are front line; without the crucial back-up services we cannot save lives. So much for Cameron’s promises.”

UNISON will not let our precious ambulance service be hacked to pieces. Londoners must join us in the fight to save our service.

Phil Thompson can be contacted on 0796 1088164 & p.thompson@unison.co.uk

Eric Roberts can be contacted on 0788 181 0430 & Eric.Roberts@lond-amb.nhs.uk

Notes to editors

• Every year the London Ambulance Service receives over 1.5 million emergency calls and responds to over one million incidents.

• Last year, we responded to more than 43,500 incidents than the year before. This equates to an increase of demand of 4.5 per cent.

• Our budget is £281m.

• Our funding establishment is 4913 staff of which 3433 provide direct patient care.

• The 890 posts reductions include 162 posts for 2010/11

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