Unison launches campaign after ambulance service staff survey reveals high stress levels
- Credit: Archant
The eastern branch of Britain’s biggest trade union has called for change at the region’s ambulance trust after a survey revealed staff welfare needs to be prioritised.
Unison has started a campaign called Put Back The Heart to persuade the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust to give better support to all staff.
The union surveyed more than 1,500 of the ambulance trust’s 4,000 staff to find out their views about working for the organisation.
The results showed 65 per cent of staff citing late finishes as causing them high levels of stress, and 55 per cent of those asked saying they are considering leaving because of this issue.
Sickness management and increasing levels of individual performance management were also identified as causing high levels of stress among staff.
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Unison branch secretary Fraser Stevenson said: “Staff are consistently providing a very high level of care to our patients.
“This survey highlights that, although there have been a number of changes in the past year, more needs to be done to support our staff.
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“Staff work in very difficult circumstances and the role they undertake is incredibly challenging.
“We are working with chief executive Anthony Marsh to bring in a number of key practical changes that will address the issues highlighted by staff in our survey, and to genuinely place staff back at the heart of our ambulance trust.
“Addressing the issues identified will help retention and reduce sickness levels, which will provide more available ambulances to respond to patients. I hope positive actions to rectify the perception of staff are made a priority.”
Trust chairman Sarah Boulton said: “Since I joined a year ago, we have made significant improvements in our ongoing transformation and the board has our service to patients and better supporting our staff at the forefront of its work.
“We’re also involving staff in a massive new programme to help change the culture of the organisation for the better which is something myself and the board have made a top priority.
“This work, as well as supporting new career pathways, paramedic recruitment, will help us make this one of the best organisations to work for.”