The Only Ambulance Parked In The Campground
THE INEPTLY-RUN EAST OF ENGLAND Ambulance Service has been catching a lot of flack for the past couple of years for its costly gaffes and mismanagement. Especially with its horrendous failures to come close to respectable response times.
In an attempt to close the response-time gap, they have contracted with ERS Medical, a private ambulance firm, to cover some of their territory. The problem is, ERS is not local and none of their paramedics live near the area.
So the ERS is paying them £35 a day for lodging, meals and other away-from-home expenses. Unfortunately, with hotel rates beginning at £50 per night, they are unable to get food and lodgings for that meagre per diem and many of them are commuting long distances to work instead. All except for four hardy medics who have taken to pitching tents in a nearby campground amidst the vacationing camping trailers and mobile homes.
Four of the medics – two men and two women – are currently staying in three tents at the site. The two women are sharing one tent and the two men are in individual tents with each pitch costing £15 per night. ERS said their £35 allowance was "above the industry norm" and described the camp site as "great" for their emergency workers.
But union leaders said the allowance – to cover food and board while working away – was not enough.
Staff are understood to have been using the campsite for the past six weeks, alongside holidaying families who were stunned to see frontline NHS staff living "rough".
Holidaymaker Eve Firmin said: "We were very shocked to see that it was ambulance people that were staying in the tents here. We had no idea until we saw one of them come back quite late, make a cup of tea, then head straight to bed."
The Mirror reports that overall about a dozen medics have used the campground which is located close to the hospital that they work out of. Some of them for just a few days, depending on their contract, and others for several weeks.
One local political aide was quoted as saying, "It could affect your work if you don’t sleep properly, and there’s also the hygiene aspect – how well can they shower and keep clean if they go home to a camp site?"
The Telegraph has MORE.
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