1. ITV Report

Nearly quarter of ambulance staff 'off with stress'

Credit: PA

Nearly one in four ambulance staff in the Midlands took time off work because of stress in the last financial year, according to new figures.

ambulance workers took stress-related days off in England in 2016-17, GMB union says

A Freedom of Information request from the GMB union to ambulance trusts covering paramedics and health care assistants showed that 23% took time off in the East Midlands.

Kevin Brandstatter, GMB national officer, said:

Workforce numbers haven't kept pace with sharply rising demand. Forcing ambulance staff to work up to the age of 68 is another major cause of stress.

There's no justification for treating paramedics differently to comparable physically demanding front-line roles.

The absences caused by staff shortages and overwork are already contributing to potential delays in attending incidents.

If any patients lose their lives as a result, the blame falls fairly and squarely on an uncaring Tory Government for not dealing with stress and anxiety of our front-line emergency staff.

– GMB union, Kevin Brandstatter

A Department of 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 the maximum they can earn by 25%.

We're also helping existing staff workloads by recruiting 2,600 more paramedics since 2010, as well as training record numbers of new paramedics.

– Department of Health spokesman