Ambulance Hours

The ambulance service is having to make savings of 3% this year. Their solution seems to be to cut the number of ambulance hours. In order to do this they will replace some two crew ambulances with single crew rapid response vehicles. These are usually cars with appropriate equipment. The paramedic in these vehicles will assess and treat the patient. S/he can then decide whether or not the person needs to go to hospital but cannot themselves transport them to hospital and would have to await an ambulance to do this. UNISON has criticised the move and it is unclear whether the trust feels that this plan is of benefit to patients or is a necessary evil imposed by the need to make savings.