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Yorkshire ambulance staff took over 7000 days for stress leave last year, says union

Around 9% of ambulance staff in Yorkshire took time off work because of stress in the last financial year, according to the GMB union. Photo: PA Images

Around 9% of ambulance staff in Yorkshire took time off work because of stress in the last financial year, according to the GMB union.

The figures come from a series of Freedom of Information requests sent by GMB to all ten Ambulance Trusts in England.

It shows that Yorkshire ambulance staff were forced to take a total of more than 7,023 sick days due to stress last year.

Across the country, one in eight workers across England took a total of 80,000 stress-related days off in 2016-17, added the GMB union.

Paramedic and other ambulance staff absences due to stress, anxiety and related conditions in 2016/17 Credit: GMB

GMB is campaigning for the paramedic retirement age to be equalised with other physically demanding front-line emergency service roles, such as police officers and firefighters who are able to retire at 60.

Kevin Brandstatter, GMB National Officer, said:

These disturbing figures once again prove what we already know – that our frontline ambulance workers are in the midst a stress and anxiety epidemic.

– Kevin Brandstatter, GMB National Officer

“They are consistently overworked, underpaid and expected to do incredibly difficult jobs – such as dealing with the aftermath of the Grenfell disaster or Manchester bombings – without adequate staff or resources."

In response, a Department for Health spokesman said:

Our dedicated paramedics do a vital and challenging job, and in recognition of their heroic responsibilities we've agreed a deal with unions to move them further up the NHS pay scale, increasing he maximum they can earn by 25%.

– Department for Health