latest health care news

20.11.17

Union members call on ambulance trust chief executive to resign

GMB members have called for the chief executive of the South West Ambulance Service Trust (SWAST) to resign in an open letter.

The letter, which has been sent by ambulance professionals working for SWAST, apologised to the community for providing a less than adequate service.

In the letter, members claim to be neither classified as an emergency service by the government, nor “appreciated or cared for” by their employer.

It says: “Behind the professional facade we portray to the public we are struggling to maintain a crumbling service deliberately being underfunded by the government and made worse when those over pressured resources and stressed staff are then badly managed locally.”

It concludes by calling for the resignation of Ken Wenman, the trust’s chief executive in order to protect patients and staff.

Gary Palmer, GMB NHS campaign organiser, said that the union has been contacted regularly by its members and concerned staff over a number of “growing issues,” and that the letter reflects the general despair and frustration” experienced by many of the trust’s staff.

He claimed that SWAST is failing to address major issues, and that the toll of this is: “having an enormous effect upon increasing numbers of staff, as they consider whether they wish to remain within this particular ambulance service or not.”

Palmer continued: “GMB and its members being ignored by the chief executive and the trust is one thing, but their failing to be able to recognise the numerous issues and the effect they have upon many front line ambulance professionals within its own organisation and the patients they ultimately serve, means that Mr. Wenman has clearly not only lost touch or interest with his employees and the service, but has now also lost their respect as well.”

Ken Wenman, chief executive of SWAST, said: “Our staff are our most valuable asset.

“We simply cannot provide the critical care to our patients without them.

“We absolutely recognise the pressure that they are under and we are working hard with them and with Unison, the recognised union, to improve resource levels, to improve our response to our patients and to improve the health and wellbeing of our staff.

“We are proud of the way that we work closely with all union representatives on behalf of our staff, including GMB, and so it is disappointing that these comments have gone to the media, rather than to us here at the trust, especially given the meetings that we have recently hosted with GMB representatives where such concerns could have been raised.

“We would urge the GMB to re-engage and talk to us directly.”

Top Image: Graham Richardson

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an NHE columnist? If so, click here.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

featured articles

View all News

last word

The NHS needs more senior women in leadership

The NHS needs more senior women in leadership

The gender pay gap in the NHS remains a hotly debated topic, especially as the final report from the Gender Pay Gap in Medicine Review approaches. Andrea Hester, deputy director of employment relati more > more last word articles >

health service focus

View all News

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
Nurses named as least-appreciated public sector workers

13/06/2019Nurses named as least-appreciated public sector workers

Nurses have been named as the most under-appreciated public sector professi... more >

interviews

NHS dreams come true for Teesside domestic

17/09/2019NHS dreams come true for Teesside domestic

Over 20 years ago, a Teesside hospital cleaner put down her mop and took st... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

An ageing population means hand care and injury prevention is more important than ever

23/08/2019An ageing population means hand care and injury prevention is more important than ever

Grey Giddins, member of the British Society for Surgery of the Hand, discusses how hand care and injury prevention have become increasingly important given the UK’s agei... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital exemplars who were revealed at the same show 12 months earlier.  Jeremy Hunt also stated that by the end of 2018 – the 70th birthday... read more >