Ambulance Staff 'Face a Culture of Bullying' Critical Report Lays Bare Low Staff Morale in Service
Byline: Madeleine Brindley Health Editor
AMBULANCE staff claim they are working within a culture of "bullying and harassment".
A critical report - the latest to lay bare the Welsh Ambulance Service's problems - implied that low staff morale was ingrained in the service.
Although the National Assembly's audit committee today acknowledged that there had been some improvements in the past two years, it said the beleaguered service is facing "significant internal and external challenges".
The report also highlighted ongoing poor response times, particularly in South-East Wales, and the ongoing problem of ambulances queuing at A&E departments to offload patients.
The report comes after paramedics in South Wales claimed that patients' lives were being put in jeopardy by a cut in overtime earlier this month.
The report said: "Despite the overall improvements in ambulance responses, there remain some unacceptable aspects of performance.
"Poor performance remains in the south-east region and hospital handover and turnaround times are fundamental to this performance.
"There is unacceptable day-to-day variability in performance and there is a lack of equity in ambulance responses across the different geographical areas of Wales."
The latest ambulance response time figures, for August, show that only 57.8% of ambulances reached a life-or-death emergency call within eight minutes in South East Wales, despite the widespread roll-out of rapid response vehicles. …