This survey is part of UNISON Scotland’s Damage series: a programme of surveys looking at the impact of the age of austerity on services and those who deliver them. An Emergency but No Accident takes a closer look at the issues affecting staff in the Scottish Ambulance Service.The ambulance staff who responded to our survey have a wide range of jobs: paramedics, technicians,patient transport staff, ambulance control centre staff, SORT/SCOTSTAR and students.
The Scottish Ambulance Service has had increased funding and staff numbers have risen over the last five years. Our staff survey indicates that demand has increased far beyond the limited extra resources. Staff are over-worked and stressed. Reports by the BBC show a 30% increase in paramedics signed off work with depression and stress last year and that 9% of all paramedics took stress related sick leave in 20181.Many staff experience high levels of violence and verbal abuse in their working lives most are considering leaving the service altogether and few would recommend the service as a place to work. Urgent action is needed to protect this vital service.
• 47% of paramedics often think about leaving the service and another 35%
sometimes think of leaving
• 61% of staff would not recommend the service as a place to work rising to
70% of paramedics
• 60% of all staff had experienced physical and/or verbal abuse at work:
40% of patient transport staff, 75% of women had experienced abuse and
98% of paramedics. Only 5% stated that employers had undertaken a risk
assessment after the evens and only 2% that changes had been made.
• 85% stated their workload had got heavier or much heavier rising to 98%
• 72% felt that their team budget had been cut
• 63% believed their team were short staffed, rising to 67% for paramedics
• 74% describe moral 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 only 12% rated their job 4 or below