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New ambulance staff
The increase of 150 staff is to allow a change in working hours that ensures ambulance workers get planned rest breaks in their shift, but are still able to attend emergency calls when required.
All of the Scottish Ambulance Service 2,685 front line posts have now moved to the new system.
Health Secretary Alex Neil yesterday met with some of the latest group of additional trainees to start the Ambulance Technicians course at the Scottish Ambulance Service Academy in Glasgow.
Mr Neil said:
“These 150 new technicians are destined for posts all over Scotland. Students in the group I met today will be heading for various locations from Gairloch to Aberdeen to Stranraer.
“The ambulance service is absolutely vital to Scotland and it is important that we have the right number of staff working in the right way for our patients. This £6.8 million investment demonstrates this Government’s commitment to our NHS workforce.
“The new staff will be particularly welcomed in our remote and rural areas, giving additional resilience and more flexibility to the service.
“We know that the priority of ambulance staff is their patients and the new ways of working which these additional staff will support will in turn help all staff to respond to those emergency cases who need them the most."
Pauline Howie, Chief Executive, Scottish Ambulance Service said:
“The Scottish Ambulance service Academy has trained a record number of new recruits in the last year, which ensures that we will continue to operate with appropriate clinical skill mix and resources across the country, delivering high standards of patient care and safety.
"Every day, ambulance staff go the extra mile for their patients with a strong sense of professionalism and commitment that starts from the day they join the service as a new trainee.”
The Certificate of Higher Education in Ambulance Studies provides the basic level of training to become an Ambulance Technician with the Scottish Ambulance Service. Technicians learn everything from Clinical Practice, Pathophysiology, Clinical Skills and Patient Assessment and Management.
The programme is delivered over a 12 month period during which students spend their first 10 weeks at Glasgow Caledonian University.
Ambulance staff used to work a 40-hour week, including two-and-a-half hours of unpaid break time. All front line workers have now moved to a 37.5-hour working week, which includes rest time. This means workers attend emergency calls if they come up at any time during their shifts.
The Scottish Ambulance Service has entered into a historic partnership with Glasgow Caledonian University that is creating a new era of skills training and professional development for ambulance staff. The new Scottish Ambulance Service Academy in Glasgow welcomed its first intake of students in April 2011.