18th Nov, 2019

Cuts will risk lives and jobs says union

Worcester Editorial 25th Feb, 2016 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

THE AMBULANCE service has had another £11.7million slashed from its funding – which the GMB said will put public lives at risk.

The trade union for West Midlands Ambulance also emphasised that the cuts would lead to redundancies and impact on their response times.

A GMB spokesperson told the Standard: “We are seriously concerned for the health and safety of the public because this will put lives at risk.”

The service was already served with £8.8million in cuts for 2015/16 – and there are fears this will give rise to the loss of vital office and IT staff.

The GMB said cuts of £20million in just two years for purely financial reasons are bound to put even more pressure on hard -pressed staff.

The union will attend a meeting today to discuss the implications of the cuts to West Midlands.

Colin Griffiths, GMB regional officer, said: “The cuts in West Midlands Ambulance Trust have come as no surprise.

“We have been told they are due to financial pressures and Government funding cuts.”

He added: “We will work with the Trust to minimise job losses as much as possible and explore all available options.

“I would hope that front-line services will not be affected but can’t guarantee it.

“West Midlands Ambulance Trust provides first-class patient care and we will do everything in our power to make sure this continues.”

In a statement, Trust chief executive, Anthony Marsh said: “Due to extreme financial pressures facing West Midlands Ambulance Service, planning is taking place to ensure patients continue to receive the high standards of service we are known for.

“The Trust will operate within the financial restrictions placed upon it and will do everything possible to avoid compulsory redundancies but they cannot be ruled out at this stage.

“Consultations are under way with our trade union representatives to explore all available options.

“No front-line staff will be affected.”

The cuts mean the trust is now required to make cost improvements every year to improve efficiency.

In 2015-16, it is required to find £8.8million in savings. It needs to save a further £11.7million in 2016-17.

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