In the news: paramedics

The work of paramedics has drawn attention in the news recently, due to a higher number than usual leaving their jobs. An article from BBC News explains how a report produced by the London Ambulance Service highlights the difficulties that are currently being faced. The report was discussed on The Report Programme on BBC Radio 4.

It is thought a rise in workload and an increase in pressure to respond to said workload is one of the main causes behind the issue, as the number of calls to emergency services continues to increase.

The BBC News report highlights how around 1,015 paramedics left their roles in 2013-14. As well as this, the average number of new paramedics recruited was lower than the previous year, which some believe adds to the pressure to meet demand. 223 paramedics from the London Ambulance Service left their roles during this time period too, and as is explained in the report, this is four times the number registered by 2011-12 statistics.

Despite the current problems being faced by the service, the Department of Health has allocated an extra £28 million to ambulance services in England this year in a bid to help meet the growing demand. The report also explains how the London trust is working to improve matters for its staff.

According to NHS Careers, the role of a paramedic includes giving essential treatment and assessments in an emergency situation. They will often be the first to attend the scene of an emergency, making sometimes life-saving decisions. Paramedics tend to work from either an ambulance station or hospital, and must provide detailed information regarding their patients to doctors and nurses in accident and emergency departments.

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