UNISON Scotland has revealed that nearly 50% of paramedics in Scotland are thinking about resigning from the ambulance service.
The shocking statistic was revealed in a copy of ‘An Emergency But No Accident’ which is a report looking at the impact of austerity on Scotlands public services and the staff who deliver them.
The survey has shown that, despite an increase in funding and staff numbers over the past five years, demand has increased far beyond those resources with almost nine in ten ambulance staff (85%) reporting their workloads being heavier (rising to 98% among paramedics).
The report has also revealed that 47% of paramedics say they often think about leaving the service.
According to the report, many frontline ambulance staff have experienced high levels of violence and abuse with six in ten saying they have suffered physical and/or verbal abuse at work: 40% of patient transport staff, 75% of women and 98% of paramedics.
Despite these worryingly high numbers, only 5% said their employer had undertaken a risk assessment, and only 2% were aware of changes being made.
Other key findings from the survey show:
- 61% of staff would not recommend the services as a place to work, rising to 70% of paramedics.
- 72% felt that their team budget had been cut
- 63% believed their team were short staffed, rising to 67% for paramedics
- 74% describe morale as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’
- 25% rate their job as 10 on a 1-10 stress scale, 48% in total across the 8-10 range and only 12% rated their job a 4 or below
UNISON Scotland said in the report:
‘The report reveals the immense pressure facing Scotlands ambulance staff.
‘It shows a dedicated workforce who are working hard to support the public under enormous pressure. They feel exhausted, undervalued, and suffer violence regularly.
‘They are struggling to meet the demands placed upon them.
‘It is clear that the service is already in a critical condition with many of our members at breaking point, and demand is continuing to grow.
‘We need urgent action to increase funding and resources in order to deliver the high quality of care our patients rely on and deserve.
‘Hopefully, this report will help get us that action’.