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Richard Webber from the College of Paramedics said the 10% staff shortage uncovered by Labour across England is an underestimation, as some ambulance chiefs are filling some of the posts with less qualiflied care assistants. In an interview with the Times, he said:
Trusts have run short for a number of reasons: pressure and stress is causing people to leave, and there also more opportunities for paramedics than there used to be.
The public are not getting paramedics out treating them in the numbers they should.
The public are not getting paramedics out treating them in the numbers they should. Paramedics have better assessment skills and a wider range of treatments so people with severe illness may not be getting the best care immediately.
Ambulance services across the country are underperforming due to staff shortages, Labour's shadow health secretary said.
Freedom of Information requests by Labour have revealed that one in ten paramedic posts are empty - in London and East Anglia, this figure rises to one in five. The government says an extra 2,000 paramedics have been recruited since 2010.
Political Correspondent Libby Wiener reports.
Freedom of Information requests by Labour have revealed that ambulance trusts in England have over 1,100 ambulance staff vacancies.
The requests, to the English Ambulance Trusts, showed that there are 1171.97 paramedic and ambulance staff vacancies across England. There are 12,137 paramedics nationally.
The following figures show how many vacancies there are different services across England, based on the FOI requests made by Labour, or on board papers from the trust.
- London Ambulance Service: 359.79 vacancies
- North East Ambulance Service: 22.24 vacancies
- East Midlands Ambulance Service: 20 vacancies
- West Midlands Ambulance Service: 0 vacancies - West Midlands included 'emergency care practitioners'
- South East Coast Ambulance Service: 112 vacancies
- South West Ambulance Service: 140.6 vacancies
- South Central Ambulance Service: 152.5 vacancies
- Yorkshire Ambulance Service: 46.93 vacancies
- East of England Ambulance Service: 284.64 vacancies
- North West Ambulance Service: 33.27 vacancies
A British healthcare worker is currently being monitored for Ebola, after sustaining a needlestick injury whilst treating a patient in Sierra Leone.
Professor Jonathan Ball from the University of Nottingham, an expert in blood viruses and Ebola, said the nature of the injury means the virus could potentially be delivered straight into the bloodstream.
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A British military healthcare worker is being monitored at the Royal Free Hospital following a needle-stick injury in Sierra Leone.Read the full story ›
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The British healthcare worker who has been flown home for Ebola testing following a needle-stick injury in Sierra Leone was exposed to the virus in a "frontline care setting" according to Public Health England.
The patient, who arrived back in the UK today on an RAF flight, will be monitored for the remainder of their 21-day incubation period at London's Royal Free Hospital.