THE AMBULANCE service for the West Midlands is set to shrink due to ‘extreme financial pressures’.
West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) said redundancies could not be ruled out, although no ‘frontline’ staff would be affected.
Trust Chief Executive Anthony Marsh said: “Due to extreme financial pressures facing West Midlands Ambulance Service, planning is taking place to ensure that patients continue to receive the high standards of service we are known for.
“The Trust will operate within the financial restrictions placed upon it and will do everything possible to avoid compulsory redundancies but they cannot be ruled out at this stage.”
Chanel Camelleri-Willis, West Midland Regional Organiser of public service union Unison, said she was shocked to learn of the proposal.
She said: “The Trust prides itself on being one of the best performing Ambulance Trusts in the country, so the news that the Trust needs to take such drastic cost saving steps was unexpected – particularly in light of the fact that other Ambulance Trusts around the country are not in such a stable position as the West Midlands, and yet they are not resorting to take such action.
“We have made clear to the employer that every member of staff at the Trust is contributing towards the excellent patient care that they are proud to deliver.
“Any job losses, from whatever function, will impact on patients that are dependent on the excellent services provided by West Midlands Ambulance Trust.”
The Trust is required to make cost improvements every year to improve efficiency. It needs to save £11.7million in 2016-17, having already saved £8.8million 2015-16.
Unison is consulting with WMAS to try and negate the need for any job losses and explore all available options.