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scottish ambulance drivers

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by heldon, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. heldon

    heldon Occasional commenter

    anyone know if there is more to this story than meets the eye
    can't believe that an ambulance driver would not attend an emergency if they are on their break
    they have been offered apparently a one off payment of £1500 and £100 each time it happens but have refused - maybe they are in the wrong job unless I'm missing something?
    how about teachers taking this line?
  2. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    My understanding (from speaking to a relative who is a paramedic) is that they are fighting an erosion of their working conditions . . . breaks are important and they don't want to lose them. Money is being thrown at them to work over/through their breaks, but having a break is something money can't buy.
  3. ScotSEN

    ScotSEN Senior commenter

    I guess its a difficult situation and I can understand why they wouldn't want to work through their breaks epecially if they are also the driver. However how would they or anyone else feel when someone dies because they wouldn't answer a call.
  4. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    I assume that idealy there should be enough of them on duty to allow staff to have proper breaks? It looks as if they are understaffed and they are emotionally blackmailed.
  5. On the other hand, what would happen if someone died as a direct result of a driver/paramedic's fatigue caused by lack of breaks? It is a difficult situation and I can understand their reluctance.
    What I can't understand is, where is the money that they are being offered coming from if there isn't any more as everyone has been told.[​IMG]
  6. ScotSEN

    ScotSEN Senior commenter

    Maybe if the money is available it could be used to employ some more staff?
  7. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    That was my understanding too. I don't know the intricate ins and outs of it though.

  8. When you're off duty, you're off duty. If someone dies when you're at home with your family, there's no guilt feelings. Why should a shorter rest break be seen differently?

    They shouldn't be being ASKED to respond during their break periods (unless circumstances are exceptional) and I expect they'll be more than flexible about when to take breaks, especially in rural situations.
    You can be sure that if something goes wrong when a tired paramedic (or other health professional - I am a nurse as well as a teacher) makes a mistake then the individual who made the mistake will be disciplined, sacked or struck off. In the unlikely event that managers' wrists are slapped, that fact will be small comfort to the individual who's lost their livelihood, and their family.

    Decades ago I started to insist on regular breaks, for health reasons (duodenal ulcer): I suddenly realised how regular breaks make work easier, more effective & more enjoyable.
  9. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    This has hit the headlines partly because of one such rural incident (Mandy Mathieson) -
    "Unions and management have been trying to find a solution to the issue since Ms Mathieson, from Tomintoul, died in October 2010.
    An ambulance crew based 21 minutes away in Grantown-on-Spey responded to the call because the local ambulance technician was on a meal break.
    Ms Mathieson's relatives were shown a transcript of the call to her village ambulance station, which confirmed that while the ambulance technician knew about the incident, he was not formally asked to attend.
    His family said he had been exonerated by the information."
    I would imagine proper rest breaks are absolutely essential when you are doing a job like this. Asides from getting to the loo, eating and drinking. . . .there's the whole stress management side of things . . . people need time to start to digest and deal emotionally with the things they often see (hear, smell, feel, touch ) on call outs.


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