Hospital protest over ambulance trust

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TRADE unionists who will protest outside York Hospital today say Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) is putting patients’ “lives at risk” by silencing whistle blowers, a claim strongly denied by service.

Unite the union, which set up a whistle-blowing website for the public and workers to raise concerns, say it has been inundated with concerns about the service.

It claims Emergency Care Assistants (ECAs) have been sent out to emergencies without a qualified paramedic, emergency codes are being altered to reach targets and that staff who became whistle blowers are being targeted and gagged by the Trust.

Unite assistant general secretary, Gail Cartmail said: “It is clear the service is in our view being locally mismanaged and is in crisis but instead of working corroboratively with staff to find solutions the service and gagged workers and buried its head in the sand.”

YAS said is strongly refuted the “misleading claims” of the Union, which represents 8 per cent of staff. Executive director of people and engagement at YAS, Ian Brandwood, said it had a comprehensive whistle-blowing policy in place.

Allegations relating to call coding and accounts, were “wholly false”, he added, as were allegations around the role of ECAs.

He said: “Unite is consistently promoting headline-grabbing allegations without sharing their evidence. We have regularly asked Unite to raise their specific concerns with us and again they have failed to do so.”

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