Under pressure Yorkshire Ambulance Service drafts in the military
Jan 13, 2022
Yorkshire Ambulance Service
Photograph: Yorkshire Ambulance Service

Yorkshire Ambulance Service has recruited 40 military personnel to offer additional support as it experiences “operational pressures” during the pandemic.

The service said as a result of the Omicron variant it is facing rising numbers of staff going into isolation and calls for help from the public.

This has forced the service to redeploy remaining staff to frontline services and bring in military support for less urgent jobs.

The 40 military personal will be working alongside paramedics to attend minor cases and assist with hospital transfers and discharges.

Nick Smith, executive director of operations, said:

“As part of our resilience planning, we have always had the option of making a request to the military for help and we have now asked for that assistance.

“We will be able to use military personnel to work alongside our staff, enabling us to support patients and get people the treatment they need sooner. This, in turn, will free up our staff to attend to serious and life-threatening cases.”

The new recruits will begin training with the ambulance service next week and are expected to start working with patients within a fortnight.

They will receive training in driving ambulances, manual handling, kit familiarisation and basic life support.

The service has insisted it is still “fully operational” and said it expects the military will assist paramedics for a “number of weeks”.

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The ambulance service is also temporarily suspending some non-emergency transport to general outpatient appointments.

It will, however, continue to offer transport to patients receiving life-saving treatment, such as renal dialysis or chemotherapy, treatment for covid, those being discharged or admitted to hospital or transferred between hospital sites.

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