DAILY POST YOUR VOICE IN WALES: No Wonder Ambulance Morale Is at Rock Bottom

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), October 21, 2008 | Go to article overview

DAILY POST YOUR VOICE IN WALES: No Wonder Ambulance Morale Is at Rock Bottom


ON the face of it, the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust has made large and important strides in the past 26 months since then new chief executive Alan Murray - its third in as many months - famously described the challenges he faced as being "not so much turning the ship around as dragging it up from the bottom of the Atlantic."

It has improved response times for attending immediately life-threatening incidents and urgent calls from GPs - often real emergencies in their own right involving far more serious medical conditions than many 999 calls from the general public. And it has invested in excess of pounds 23m in 151 new vehicles to replace its previously ageing fleet.

Why then does the public, whose money has been made so generously available, retain the feeling that all is not well in the "caring" service? It is not, surely, simply a matter of a small number of high-profile delays in responding to calls which may have led to patient deaths.

A new report to be released today talks of "low staff morale" - not in itself uncommon in many walks of life these days - but concludes that "organisations undergoing such rapid and sustained change often suffer problems" - which is not necessarily true where change results in better equipment and improved performance.

Much more worryingly it specifies a culture of blame; staff complaints of bullying and harassment; a lack of trust in managers; and poor communication. …

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DAILY POST YOUR VOICE IN WALES: No Wonder Ambulance Morale Is at Rock Bottom
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