Ambulance workers under pressure and overwhelmed

A new report has claimed that ambulance workers are being ‘overwhelmed’ and suffering from stress when they finish their shifts because of the pressures they are facing.

According to Unison, emotional breakdowns, sleep problems, mood swings and the use of anti-depressants were among the issues reported by staff who have been dealing with ‘unprecedented’ demand for months.

Ongoing staff shortages, lack of capacity in hospitals due to Covid and long-term underfunding have all contributed to ‘major problems’ over the past few months.

More than 1,100 staff in various ambulance services roles across the UK were surveyed, with three out of four stating that stress and pressure in their services ​has increased since pre-Covid days., whilst more than half said they fe​lt ‘overwhelmed’ by work and ​a similar proportion were struggling to cope with the demands of their jobs.

Sara Gorton, Unison’s head of health, said: “Staff are desperately trying to give the best care possible to patients, but the system is creaking at the seams. The increasing demands on already-stretched services ​is taking a ​terrible toll on ​ambulance employees and their mental health as they work under immense pressure in under-staffed teams.

“Ambulance staff, like so many in the NHS, can’t just ​leave their stress at the door when they get home. That has a huge impact on their well-being and their famil​ies.

“Ministers can’t sit idly by as demand on 999 services spirals, ambulance queues outside hospitals ​lengthen, burnout runs rife and staff at their wits’ end decide ​that enough’s enough. It’s time for the government to d​ig deep to fund a generous pay rise that ensures experienced staff don’t quit and invest​ in the long-term future of a service on its knees.”

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