The ambulance service is an important part of our emergency services and should be given priority. It is therefore important to ensure that it is organized and resourced in a way that ensures the service’s quality is assured and the commitment of its staff recognized. The GSD is today sharing its policy commitment and vision on how the GSD would like to see these issues dealt with if it is elected to Government:
Independence of the ambulance service – we will review how the Ambulance service is presently provided to modernise and improve how it is delivered wherever necessary. At the head of this service is the Chief Ambulance Officer who should be accountable to the Minister for Health. The Ambulance Service should work to a reviewed and clear set of duties, have its own budget, published set of protocols and code of discipline
Promotion of three Ambulance Care Assistants to Emergency Medical Technicians – Given the successful completion of the necessary training and subsequent public commitment on the 23rd January 2018, the three Ambulance Care Assistants who were given a promotion in all but name shall be recognised with immediate effect. Currently, the Government have u-turned on this agreement, revoked substitution allowances and opened only two vacancies. This is unfair given its previous public and private commitment and is bound to fuel resentment in the service.
Presently the post of Chief Ambulance Officer is vacant, this will be filled immediately
As part of a management structure review, there will be one new management positions – Operational Division Officer - structurally above Station Officers.
We will strengthen and restructure the four current shifts by introducing posts of Deputy Station Officers in each shift. These vacancies would be advertised in order to solidify the service as part of a wider long term succession planning strategy.
Dispatch officers for ambulance emergency to be qualified EMT’s – this will ensure callers have appropriate support from the moment their call is received to the moment the ambulance arrives at the location using the Medical Priority Dispatch System (MPDS) which was purchased but remains unused. In addition this will allow for persons requiring light duties due to for example pregnancy or injury, to continue exercising their roles, without the risk of losing their qualifications due to inactivity.
Financial recognition of relevant qualifications held beyond those required by the post by way of allowances as occurs with other public service posts – it is important to both encourage and recognise qualifications which go beyond the qualifications demanded by the post held
Create an Emergency Medical Technician bank – this will ensure enhanced consistent manning levels
Undergo necessary preparations to genuinely move the ambulance service to purpose built premises
Salary review – there shall be a review of salaries within the ambulance service in line with its important role
Shadow Minister for Health, Lawrence Llamas MP said today “Morale in many sectors of the public service is expressed by many to be at an all time low. The ambulance service is inevitably one of them. Having listened to the concerns and ideas of those on the ground, we wanted to publicly share our policy ideas moving forward, providing a firm commitment to resolving the short and long term issues facing the service, securing the right succession planning for the future.
It is important that the services are run seamlessly and that workers are able to remain focused on the job at hand without having to worry whether there are enough ambulances and staff on particular shifts, or how the service is going to run on one ambulance as has been the case on many occasions in the past months which could prevent avoidable errors.”