Fears for patients in Yorkshire

CONCERNS OVER the state of Yorkshire’s ambulance service were the driving force behind a demonstration in Westminster.

Trade unionists and health campaigners used a giant wheel of fortune to show how cutting paramedics and relying on emergency care assistants, who have a fraction of the medical training, was “gambling with patient’s lives”.

Britain’s biggest trade union, Unite, led calls to recruit more paramedics and warned the board’s business plan shows that whilst demand for the service is rising, frontline services are being cut with a 10 per cent cut in the ambulance fleet by 2018. The trust also plans to cut staff by five per cent over the next four years.

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Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “Yorkshire Ambulance Service must ensure that no practice could be said to be gambling with patients’ lives.

“Unite is investigating a large number of complaints by patients allegations of staff being pressurised into manipulating call out data to meet targets.”

Yesterday’s protest followed months of unrest in Yorkshire Ambulance Service over the impact of cuts and changes to its workforce.

In July, The Yorkshire Post revealed that reveals increasing numbers of patients with life-threatening emergencies have been forced to wait over an hour for help to reach them.