Responding to the announcement that the chief executive of the London Ambulance Service (LAS), Ann Radmore, has resigned after two years in post, UNISON Regional Organiser in London Phil Thompson said:
“Ann’s resignation shows just how difficult a job running the most hard-pressed ambulance service in Britain can be. UNISON has always taken its role as the largest union in the service responsibly by pioneering new forms of industrial relations.”
UNISON has had a long history of working with chief executives in the LAS, and has welcomed the appointment of the Service’s Medical Director, Dr Fionna Moore, as interim CEO.
Phil Thompson continued:
“We are keen to continue to work with the senior management of the Service, with whom we have excellent working relationships. Our local representatives work hard with local managers to ensure that Londoners continue to benefit from a world class ambulance service.
“We warned four years ago that if planned cuts to the Service were implemented results would be catastrophic. We are sorry to say that we have been proved right.
“The Service now is now closer to collapse than it has been for twenty years precisely because of those cuts in staffing levels, cuts which have meant that the Service has had to go as far afield as Australia to recruit paramedics, because of entirely unavoidable decisions made by LAS management.
“It has always been recognised that UNISON plays a constructive role in the Service, and will work with any Chief Executive who will work with us to benefit Londoners.”
Eric Roberts, UNISON Branch Secretary and national Vice-President said:
“This Service is bigger than one person. The staff of the LAS are what makes it London’s most valuable asset, and they feel as though they’ve been left out in recent years. That must now change. Ambulance staff have immense pride in what they do and that must now be restored.”