Paramedics celebrate pay award
EXTRA skills and harder work have resulted in the promise of higher pay for the region's ambulance service.After working on modernising the service for several years, Union branch secretary Eric Miller said staff can now look forward to a pay deal to reflect the work they do.
By Jessica Nicholls
EXTRA skills and harder work have resulted in the promise of higher pay for the region's ambulance service.
After working on modernising the service for several years, Union branch secretary Eric Miller said staff can now look forward to a pay deal to reflect the work they do.
Chief executive of the East Anglian Ambulance Trust, Chris Carney said that frontline staff will now be rewarded for the changes they have made during the last three years.
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The pay rises are part of a review of working practices called Agenda for Change being implemented nationwide – the Trust is one of the first to adopt the review.
Firefighters' union the FBU, who were due to be locked in talks with conciliation service ACAS today, will be eyeing the award with interest as they seek to resolve their pay dispute with the government in return for 'modernised' practices.
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Mr Carney said: "Paramedics were widely introduced in the 1980's when their skills and time were a small extension of what they had previously undertaken.
"Since then their role and responsibilities have expanded hugely, providing a range of patient treatments including the administration of 24 drugs compared with the original three.
"They are currently extending into the administration of clot busting drugs for heart attack victims and are well-trained in advanced trauma, paediatric and cardiac skills."
As well as all these, some paramedics also have extra skills to decontaminate patients in major emergencies.
During the last few years there has also been a huge rise in emergency calls that paramedics are called out to.
Pay rises look to be based on job evaluations that are expected to take place in April.
Mr Miller said: "The principles of a national transparent job evaluation process is the only way towards a system that is felt fair and acceptable to all.
"All employees of the East Anglian Ambulance Service have in their own ways contributed to the success of this Trust in the past three years, in particular paramedics and emergency medical technicians who have adopted policies of public reform – at time with trepidation."
Seamus Elliott, director of human resources said: "Paramedics have taken on far greater responsibility and their working practices have changed so much and we will now have a pay structure to reflect that.
"It's another step towards eradicating low pay in the NHS."