GMB LAS Branch recently wrote to Khadir Meer regarding the ever rising pressure being faced by crews. Not only did we point out the issues, but also supplied solutions. To date, GMB have received no reply. GMB will continue prioritise the health and safety of our members, and will continue to push this issue.
If you are struggling, do not hesitate to get in touch.
Read the email below:-
Mon 21/12/2020 09:51
I hope you are keeping well.
I’m emailing you in my official capacity as the GMB LAS Union Branch Secretary.
Our workforce, as we all know, is under extreme pressure in every department and I would like to put on record my personal thanks on behalf of GMB LAS Union.
The pressures our members are facing on a daily basis is a real concern to us and could have a real impact going forward to staff being burnt out and suffering physical and mental health problems.
Please can I ask the following:-
1- Can staff start getting breaks when asking to take one? Our members are reporting that this is being refused mow more than ever. I hope you would agree that having a meal/rest break is important for staff to maintain a safe working environment and their own wellbeing.
Can we start allocating breaks when staff ask for one even if this is outside of the windows only being refused for CAT 1? Also allow staff what used to be a 99 break, in other words tea breaks during the shift, say 10/15 minutes a time to recover and to take on fluids.
2- Staff are being asked to keep COVID-19 patients on the back of Ambulances for a considerable amount of time. I have had reports of up to 6 hours to date which is unacceptable as these impacts on our ability to provide cover and do not give the patient the hospital care they need.
I appreciate this is due to the increase in COVID-19 patients and winter health problems, can we please ask the Government to re-open the nightingale hospital, not necessarily as an intensive care, but an overflow hospital.
Get some adverts out stating the Trust is under severe pressure due to the increase in demand, hospitals stacking our vehicles and to only call us in emergency situations only. I believe the public are unaware of our capability at present and I have not seen or heard of anything the Trust is doing in the community to make the public aware of our situation.
3- The increase in the number of staff off with COVID-19 has increased severely over the last month with the numbers reflecting the numbers during the 1st wave off sick or isolating. Also, the non covid sickness has increased above any levels seen in the past.
Are we getting extra resources? Assistance from LFB, Covid bank workers etc. Could we not ask again for assistance, as we was when the trust was over resourcing staff? Staff were getting down time which helped with the stress our staff are feeling at present.
4- PPE when is the Trust going to get disposable FFP3 availability especially as like ( point 2) staff might need to be in full FFP3 protection when dealing with patients for an extended period. As we all know these masks have their problems around communications and exhaustion when used for long periods.
The Trust has said that these masks are on order for some time now, yet we have no idea when or if they are coming?
Can we order and stock pile disposable FFP3 masks? I appreciate that these need fit testing but surely this is something that can be undertaken especially if we get extra resources. Or order the half face masks like the ones used in hospitals? Again, I appreciate the fit testing issue.
Or, can we partner up with hospitals and have access to these disposable masks when waiting with the patient on the back of ambulances for entry to the hospitals?
Surely this would be a pragmatic approach going forward.
Happy to help if a discussion would be helpful please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
GMB LAS Union Branch secretary
07771 855 833 – 020 8285 4439
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Posted: 27th December 2020