Skill Mix Changes

It has been reported to our reps that our NQP members have had a change in how they are deployed and the skill mix they work to as part of a winter pressures plan.

We have this morning written to the management for clarification of this. (Full text of letter below)

If correct we will express our concern over the reduction in support this will provide for our NQP members and the risk that presents and will also express our disappointment in the lack of consultation over this change with the members affected and with the Staff Side as their representatives.

Please speak to your local reps if you have any concerns over this issue or if you have been affected by this change.


Morning Khadir,

I trust you are well?
I am writing to draw your attention to an issue that has been raised to us as per the email I have sent Pauline below.

I appreciate Pauline is not available today however it is import for me to express our disappointment and concern that the service is making changes that represent an increased risk for our members and our patients without any discussion with the staff affected or the Staff Side as their representatives. We held the Operational Partnership Forum on Thursday last week which I understand from Facebook (from Facebook!) is the same day the skill matrix changes were implemented and there was zero mention of it at the meeting.

I appreciate we did not complete the full agenda during the meeting as we ran out of time but this particular change nor any other mention of a winter plan were reflected in the agenda or as any other business.

In terms of deploying NQP1s with any other clinician than a Band 6 experienced Paramedic, particularly with another newly qualified staff member and with the regularity it appears to be happening this week is of great concern to us as reflected in the criticism of Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust by the Francis Inquiry of 2013. Without consultation (also an issue highlighted by the Francis report recommending better engagement with staff and patients) our staff nor our patients have any assurance that the change in balance of skill mix against staffing numbers of ambulances is safe, safe staffing levels and skill mix with newly qualified clinical staff being key issues identified at Mid Staffordshire.

Please can you share with the Staff Side of the Staff Council the details of the rumoured Winter Plan and provide us with an explanation of the assurance that this particular change in deployment of Newly Qualified Paramedics is safe for our staff and our patients?

Kind regards,

Tim Stephens,
Chairperson to the Staff Side of the LAS Staff Council

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