Over the weekend, we were contacted anonymously via email by a Medic serving with the London Ambulance Service (LAS) who explained to us that they had been told by ‘LAS management’ to hand over any ‘thank you’ cards left on their emergency ambulances which contain any money.
Over recent weeks, dozens of the same ‘thank you’ cards have been left on emergency ambulances, with the professionally made cards often, if not always, containing £10 notes in them which are intended to be a ‘gift’ for emergency ambulance crews.
We covered the story recently on our news website (Emergency-Services.News) and many emergency ambulance personnel mentioned what a positive effect this kind act had on their morale.
The mystery donor behind the cards and notes had hoped (by virtue of the message left in the notes) that the medics would use the money being given to them in order to buy themselves a coffee and ‘doughnuts’ – if they are lucky enough to get a break in between dealing with 999 calls.
At a time when ambulance staff have been having to endure an increase in verbal abuse and assaults, as well as returning to their vehicles only to find abusive notes being left on their windscreens about how they DARED to park their emergency vehicles whilst dealing with emergency calls, the much-welcomed ‘thank you’ cards had been having the effect of increasing the morale of the life-saving medics.
Well, not any more…..
The email sent into our team said:
“I have some info I’d like to share about the LAS [London Ambulance Service] completely demoralising it’s staff today.
“The management have told us we are not allowed to keep the envelopes with the tenners in them that have been appearing yesterday and today.
“Some seriously pi**ed off guys in green – didn’t think morale could get any lower…”
With the email was a screenshot of the following message to staff:
“As has been posted on here in the last few days, a number of printed envelopes and cards with money inside have been left with crews and on our vehicles.
“Whilst we think that the sentiment of the notes is right – seeing as they say you are awesome – this appears to be happening in a professional, co-ordinated way and we are not sure who they are from…!
“So could we please ask that if you do receive any of these envelopes/cards, that you please pass them on to your local manager?
“We’ve also had a press enquiry about this, so for the time being, can we ask too that you don’t comment on social media about it – thank you!
“Finally, a quick reminder as well that guidance around acceptance of gifts is available on Pulse”.
A short time ago (and before the above Memo was shared with LAS Staff) we were contacted by an individual who is close to the organisation that is behind the gift cards and £10 notes being left on emergency ambulances.
They told us, off the record, that the company behind the kind gestures had told its staff that they can leave the cards and £10 notes on emergency ambulances whenever they see one parked as a means of saying ‘thank you’ for the life-saving work medics do.
No doubt the company behind the £10 notes had perhaps been motivated to leave the cards because of the articles which had been written and shared recently in relation to the abusive notes which had been left on emergency ambulances.
Whilst we could understand the £10 being an issue if, for example, they were being left on police cars, we find it hard to understand just why the medics cannot keep the £10 for themselves and use them in the manner intended by the kind company leaving them?
Or perhaps put them in a ‘pot’ that could then be shared out amongst emergency ambulance crews?
Ultimately, if a kind and generous organisation has decided that they want to hand out £10 notes to emergency ambulance crews so that the crews can have lunch ‘on them’ then why can’t the crews just be allowed to keep hold of the £10 notes?
A London Ambulance Spokesperson told us:
‘We are always overwhelmed by the generosity of feeling towards our staff who work tirelessly for Londoners every day of the year, however, in common with other public sector organisations, we have strict rules and guidelines around the acceptance of monetary gifts.’
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