6 December 2022
Commenting on the announcement of strike action dates for the ambulance services by GMB, Unite and Unison, President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Dr Adrian Boyle said:
“The Royal College of Emergency Medicine is not a union and is unable to comment on terms and conditions of staff. However, we know that there is a serious recruitment and retention crisis across many areas of the NHS, including the ambulance services. We understand that many of our colleagues, paramedics and ambulance staff, are burned out and exhausted.
“While we recognise that strikes could be disruptive for the delivery of healthcare, particularly for emergency care, we support the individual right of all NHS staff should they feel it necessary to take appropriate industrial action. Our ambulance services do crucial work in the community for patients. It is right that they are valued and appreciated. We hope a resolution can be found that ensures the vital contribution of our ambulance and paramedic colleagues is both recognised and valued before any strike action takes place.
“We know that patient safety is increasingly being compromised as a consequence of years of under-resourcing and lack of staff and lack of beds, which is why it is so important that every effort is made to keep the staff we do have in the health service and on the frontline caring for patients. While nurses, paramedics and ambulance staff take industrial action, colleagues across the health service will step into the breach and strain every sinew to ensure patients are kept safe.”