GMB Ambulance union news Oct 2019

GMB NHS Paramedic Union News Oct 2019

4 October 2019


As you know the roster review is attempting to match resource to demand to assist in this a company called ORH were commissioned to carry out a demand analysis.

Following that analysis the commissioners agreed an uplift of £8.2 million for additional resource on the proviso the rosters are adjusted to meet the demand.

That demand is spread across the three areas with C&L having 27%, C&M 31.5% and GM 40.5%.

However, the additional investment share is 42% to C&L, 46% to GM and just 11.5% to C&M.

Worse than that, the proposals would see some station groups losing over 300 vehicle hours per week.

This is something that this union could not agree to and we have made our views known in a number of ways at all levels within the Trust.

This has resulted in some agreement over the loss of hours within station groups in so far the status quo will remain in place in C&M.

That agreement was as follows:

1. Take the April 2019 CAM current rotas and leave unchanged. Add in the 278 hrs of investment based upon Optima data. Then review all PIP investment resources with a view to re aligning them for best use. Once this is done have further discussion with WTS to consider station groups to give maximum use of Team concept. This to be considered as mandatory so long as within financial envelope as per Core Principles.

2. Look at the current proposed i.e. ORH rota keys and consider tweaks (the same as we have done in GM and CAL)

3. Set a separate group to consider meal break trial in CAM to cover.

a. Fixed term trial

b. Removal of Flip Flop

c. Introduction of anytime /any place dining

d. Review of compensation payment package

e. Consideration of commitment from NWAS that any savings realised to be guaranteed for ring fenced reinvestment into CAM

f. Consideration to pump prime any assessed saving to enable additional EAs on a temp basis for the period as defined.

Management has looked at number 3 and has reported back that no savings could be identified to the current meal break arrangements so that will go no further.

Although they do wish to talk about meal breaks following a coroner’s report requesting all services to review their current arrangements.

However, they have assured us that they will continue to explore every avenue to ensure that resources are provided on an equitable basis given the demand.

In the meanwhile we will continue to meet local management within the C&M area to ensure no loss of cover to any sector. Our aim is to ensure all core 24 hour vehicles will remain as they are and then re-align link and PIP vehicles into team structures.

The other two areas have now signed off their roster keys and working parties continue to meet, the C&M working parties are scheduled to meet in December.

We are confident that we will have an agreed level of hours per sector prior to that date and will keep you informed of any further developments.


Earlier this week, NHS England presented their proposals to the Board as to what they believe should be included in an NHS Reform Bill.

In March 2019, NHS England launched a consultation to gather views on proposals for potential changes to current primary legislation that they believed were needed in order to support the NHS Long Term Plan.

GMB submitted evidence into this consultation which you can read at:

GMB has long campaigned for the repeal of the Health & Social Care Act, which opened the door widely to the privatisation of our NHS, specifically Section 75. You can sign our petition to ‘Scrap Section 75’ at:

Although NHS England’s proposals support our campaign in scrapping section 75, we believe the proposals do not go far enough. If the NHS Long Term Plan is to be delivered it is essential for it to be funded properly with a credible plan on how to deal with workforce issues at its centre.

The GMB also echo’s Jonathan Ashworth, Shadow Health Secretary’s comments made earlier this week that what we want to see, is a full repeal of the Act and to restore a public universal NHS. GMB continues to have no confidence in the Conservative Government management of the National Health Service in England, or in its commitment to preserve the NHS as a nationwide service free at the point of delivery.

GMB has 5 Key Asks for the NHS: 1) More Funding for NHS Pay & Services; 2) Get serious about Staffing Levels; 3) Greater protection for our Emergency Service & NHS Workers from Violence at Work; 4) Challenging the Culture within the NHS to tackle Bullying, increase Staff Morale and improve Mental Health; and 5) Challenge all Privatisation and Outsourcing.


The NHS long term plan was published this year and sets out this governments plan for the next 5-10 years. A lot of the focus is on admission avoidance which will impact the way ambulance services are delivered in future. The full NHS long term plan document can be found here.

The GMB response to the document can be found here

Within this Trust work has begun and a number of work streams have been set up under the Integrating Urgent and Emergency Care strategy which states the following:

As an ambulance service, we are at the heart of the urgent and emergency care system and we have a key role to play in developing an integrated urgent and emergency care system across the North West. This is the direction for the NHS nationally, as outlined by the NHS Long Term Plan, and regionally, as outlined in commissioning intentions and local Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) plans.

It is a five-year strategy as we recognise that there is a lot of work to do, some of which is dependent on external factors or internal progress in other areas, for example, technological developments under the digital strategy. We want to ensure the right decisions are made for our patients and our colleagues and a five-year timescale will allow us to do this without rushing.

Much of the work in year one is about scoping out options and reviewing current states, so there will be plenty of opportunities for colleagues to contribute to ideas about how we might deliver urgent and emergency care in the future.”

As you can see NWAS have a five year plan to put in place what MRAS were doing as far back as 2003 when we had ECPs working on a rotational basis in GP surgery and walk in centres. The pace of change in the NHS is amazing!

GMB North West & Irish Region