News : 999 Call Centre Staff WON'T be Made Redundant or Lose Jobs, Says Ambulance Service
St Leonards, UK, July 21, 2016 -- Further details have emerged of plans to move 999 ambulance dispatchers from the St Leonards call centre site.
South Western Ambulance Service (SWAS) said there would be no redundancies nor any reduction in the number of staff in the role - which concerns the allocation of emergency vehicles and personnel - including ambulances, paramedics and air ambulances - to incidents as they are reported.
The move affects around 30 roles which will be moved to Exeter where the 999 call handlers are based.
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The trust said the plans have been "under consideration for a couple of years" and are intended to "create efficiencies as well as job development opportunities for staff".
Director of operations Neil le Chevalier said: "We do not expect any compulsory redundancies as a result of the decision to combine our 999 despatch teams as staff will be offered suitable alternative employment.
"This may be in St Leonards or some staff may choose to relocate to Exeter."
SWAS said the plans affect clinical supervisors, dispatchers, senior dispatchers and control officers for the 999 service.
A spokesman said: "These roles will not be cut, instead South Western Ambulance Service continues its recruitment drive, creating more jobs at its Exeter and Bristol clinical hubs to meet the increasing public demand for the 999 service."
The trust said it had seen an increase in the number of ambulance incidents of 24 per cent over the past four years, increasing from an average of 1,979 incidents a day in 2011/12 to 2,449 in 2015/16, an extra 470 incidents a day.
Other services provided at the St Leonards site, including the NHS 111 helpline service currently being monitored by the Care Quality Commission and NHS Improvement, plus GP out of hours and single point of access services, are not affected.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust:
The South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) is the organisation responsible for providing ambulance services for the National Health Service (NHS) in the English districts of Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, North Somerset, Scilly Isles Somerset, South Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. The Foundation Trust was authorised on 1 March 2011 by Monitor (the Independent Regulator for NHS Foundation Trusts) to run the ambulance services run previously by the NHS Trust as a result of the merger of the Westcountry and Dorset ambulance services, and the subsequent merger with neighbouring Great Western Ambulance Service on 1 February 2013. This latter merger was announced in 2011, and staff were asked to accept changes in their pay and conditions.
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