North West worst hit with fewer ambulance staff than anywhere else in UK

The House of Commons Library research suggests the North West has lost 656 workers since 2015. Credit: North West Ambulance Service

The number of ambulance staff in the North West has fallen more than anywhere else in the UK.

The research commissioned by the Liberal Democrats suggests the region has lost 656 workers since 2015.

But, North West Ambulance Service say it does not recognise the figures, instead adding the numbers of frontline ambulance paramedics had grown since 2015.

Three regions out of 11 have seen a three-figure decrease in clinically registered ambulance staff workers in the past seven years, including the East Midlands which is down by 316 and the South East coast with a drop of 194.

From September 2015 to August 2022, the number of North West ambulance workers have fallen from 3,006 to 2,350. Credit: ITV News

The party are calling for an "emergency campaign" to recruit more staff as waiting times continue to rise across the country.

Daisy Cooper, the Liberal Democrats health spokesperson has called on the Government to "launch an emergency campaign to staff our ambulances and save lives".

She said: "It is no wonder ambulance waiting times have reached dangerous levels when the Government has failed to recruit more paramedics.

"The consequences of this failure have been horrifying, from the elderly left on the floor for hours after a fall, to those in life and death situations not being treated in time.

"More lives will be lost if the Government does not act now."

Lisa Ward, Director of People at North West Ambulance Service said: "We don’t recognise the figures presented here.

"Since 2015, we have grown the numbers of frontline ambulance paramedics by over 500 as well as creating additional roles for paramedics in clinical leadership positions and within our 999 and 111 contact centres.

"Alongside paramedics, ambulance technicians and trainees play vital roles on the frontline and the number of these staff is also on the increase.

"We are already on our way to delivering our recruitment plans which will see more than 230 new paramedics and 150 technicians joining us by the end of this financial year and further improving the resources available to respond to patients across the North West.

"We continue to provide fulfilling careers for people in all frontline roles including emergency responding, 111 and 999 call handlers, and clinician roles within our contact centres."

Figures suggest ambulance workers increased by 260 in the West Midlands and 125 in the North East of England.

However, the Lib Dems claimed there was a "postcode lottery of ambulance staff per population".