Increase in paramedic resignations in London as workloads rise

From Evening Standard:

London paramedics are leaving the profession in droves as rising workloads take their toll, a new report reveals.

The number of paramedics who left the London Ambulance Service (LAS) has increased fourfold – from about 55 in 2011-12 to 223 in 2013-14.

It marks the largest single increase in the country for paramedics leaving an ambulance service.

LAS staff told the BBC that low morale caused by overstretched resources was prompting many employees to exit the profession.

One worker, who asked to remain anonymous, said there were up to 200 emergency calls on hold in the capital at any one time because of a lack of staff and ambulance vehicles.

He said: “When I joined the job, it was very unusual for someone to leave the service other than through retirement, but over the last two or three years it’s escalated beyond belief.”

The Evening Standard has contacted LAS for comment.

Last month, it was reported that the service had raised the threshold for dispatching crews after being deluged with almost 15,000 extra calls a month.

London Ambulance Service chief executive Ann Radmore appealed to Londoners not to abuse the service and only dial 999 for medical emergencies to help it cope with “critical” staff shortages.

A spokesman said: “Every year demand on our service increases, putting further pressure on our staff. As well as working with our medics to see what more we can do to improve their working lives, we have recently recruited over 400 new frontline staff.

“As always, we ask Londoners to help ease the pressure on our front line staff by only calling us in a genuine emergency.”

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