Petition Launched To Ensure NE Paramedics Get A Proper Lunch Break

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A petition has been set up to ensure that paramedics are able to get a ‘proper break’ at their own base.

It has been reported that there has been a recent change in amendments to the break meal policy for paramedics, to help reduce delays to getting to patients.

However, staff say the meal policy now means “paramedics and ambulance staff are not able to go back to our own base stations for meal breaks”. By having a break at base, it means the staff are able to have a break, with the use of sofas, hot food and drink facilities, which are needed during long shifts.

A petition has been set up online, which is almost close to gaining 5,000 signatures to change the policy.

A spokesperson for the petition has said:

“There has been a recent suggestion of amendments to the meal break policy. I completely disagree with this for numerous reasons and I understand many others also do.

The changes mean we aren’t able to go back to our own base stations for meal breaks. The ability to go back to base station for breaks means we can have hot food and drinks, we can socialise with those who we work with closely and we are more likely to get finished on time.

This will help by ensuring we aren’t hungry, by looking after our welfare and then making sure we are in on time for our next shift preventing any knock on effects. 

I believe that another solution to the problem, to increase availability time of crews, is to review our triage system.”

Speaking about the changes previously,

Vicky Court, deputy chief operating officer, said: “The evidence is overwhelming that making this temporary change will allow us to see more patients quicker and reduce the potential harm that occurs when there are long waits for an ambulance.

“It will only last to the end of March while we continue to experience the enormous pressures upon our service.”

Vicky added it could “improve wellbeing” of staff as a lot of the time “crews are often sent late for their breaks” this will help “try and avoid delays”.

NEAS also stated the changes meant the public may see more ambulance crews during their rest breaks and “are reminded that they should not be disturbed while resting”.

Radio Gateshead has contacted NEAS to find out more about the break rules.

Petition Launched To Ensure NE Paramedics Get A Proper Lunch Break

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