Ambulance sickness rate up
SICKNESS rates are once again soaring in the ambulance service, the Evening Star can reveal today.Back in July 2000, our Ambulancewatch campaign told how ambulance human resources director, Seamus Elliott, reported a 2.
By Tracey Sparling
SICKNESS rates are once again soaring in the ambulance service, the Evening Star can reveal today.
Back in July 2000, our Ambulancewatch campaign told how ambulance human resources director, Seamus Elliott, reported a 2.4 per cent sick rate for Suffolk – in line with the national industry average, but said Norfolk's performance was stopping the trust reaching its own target of six pc.
At yesterday's East Anglian Ambulance Trust board meeting in Wisbech, Mr Elliott admitted that the sickness rate had now shot up to 7.49pc.
He said: "We are clearly not meeting our sickness targets for the year, but with the increase in activity during the December period and considerable amounts of viral illness among staff, this was not unduly surprising."
He added that the rate was in the middle of the league of ambulance trust rates, but said: "A lot of effort is going in to keep this contained.
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"Our situation isn't as we would like it, but efforts are continuing.
"The executive team reviewed the situation at their meeting this week and will be looking to the operational teams to continue their management efforts to reduce these levels during the remainder of the year."
Mr Elliott said some staff had had flu jabs and he wanted to monitor the effectiveness of such injections before agreeing a campaign to get more people immunised next year.