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Unite flags ‘serious issues’ with Gibraltar Ambulance Service

Photo by Eyleen Gomez.

Unite the Union has highlighted what it describes as “serious issues” within the Gibraltar Ambulance Service which it says are being “repeatedly ignored” by the GHA and the Ministry for Health.

The concerns range from staffing levels in the service, stress and anxiety arising from increased workloads linked to understaffing, deficient equipment and vehicles, poor workplace facilities and a number of operational claims that have gone unanswered.

“We have an ambulance service that worked on the front-line throughout the pandemic, answering 12,000 callouts last year alone, yet against a complement of 45, staffing levels are running at two thirds with 31 employees,” said Sam Hennessy, Unite Regional Officer for Gibraltar.

“Our members are working tirelessly to ensure that those staff shortages are not impacting the service and services users, but those workloads are unsustainable and are the cause of work-related stress.”

“The union receives continued reports from members around the poor state of repair of equipment and vehicles being utilised in the service which hampers the ability of GAS members to be able to deliver this essential service to a high standard.”

“As well as the equipment, the facilities in which the GAS members are housed are not fit for purpose, porta-cabins that were presented as a short-term solution are now a sub-standard permanent arrangement, with the conditions not suitable for work.”

“In addition to these issues, there are a number of long-standing operational claims that are awaiting responses, yet these claims and the issues with the service are being repeatedly ignored by the employer and Ministry to the detriment of the members and the service.”

“This frontline service is deserving of far more respect than it is being afforded and once again we call upon the employer to engage positively with the union and our members working in GAS to rebuild this service.”

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