Union issues vote of no confidence against ambulance chief

Ambulance on call.
Ambulance on call.

A trade union representing paramedics has issued a vote of no confidence against the local ambulance service’s chief executive.

GMB made the vote against East Midlands Ambulance Service’s Phil Milligan fearing that his proposal to replace the region’s 66 ambulance stations with 13 large ‘hubs’ was ‘flawed, unworkable and dangerous.’

Regional coordinator Colin Todd said: “GMB members are angry and frustrated at the proposal itself and the lack of any evidence to support claims that this will improve the service to the public.

“We feel the consultation is a sham and a tick box exercise - we do not want to get to the end of this process and find it is too late to influence the decision making.

“Without the details we have requested, it makes it impossible to propose alternatives, but this plan as it stands will not work.”

EMAS’s ‘Being the Best’ consultation is intended to rectify the service’s failure to meet response time targets by making better use of resources,

Mr Todd, however, believes the proposals ‘lack detail,’ make claims that ‘cannot be substantiated’ and will ‘undoubtedly create a postcode lottery on emergency care.’

County, district and town councillors have also issued similar concerns about the consultation, which they fear to be inadequate in resolving response time delays, publicised in a number of horror stories about patients made to wait hours unattended with life threatening conditions.

Mr Todd has called for EMAS to do something now before Mr Milligan ‘wrecks the whole service’ and claims that EMAS managers he has spoken to ‘in confidence’ share GMB’s concerns but are ‘too worried about their own jobs to object’.

EMAS chairman John Towler, however, claims the board has ‘full confidence’ in Mr Milligan’s leadership,

He said: “EMAS must continue its improvement programme to be fit for the future challenges facing the NHS.

“We are looking to develop our proposals to ensure that all of our stakeholders’ views are taken into consideration, with focus on best practice and input directly from patients and clinical colleagues.

“This process continues during the consultation, which ends on December 17.

“We have made significant progress over the last 12 months in our overall performance since the arrival of Phil Milligan, our chief executive officer, and we will continue to act as a unified board with full trust confidence in leadership.”