Joint Ambulance Trade Union Statement

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Dated — 13 October 2017

On 1 September, we updated you on a difficult position we had reached with employers around the implementation of Section 1 of the national paramedic banding agreement. The issues that needed to be resolved were

1. Inconsistent application of NQP programme by English Ambulance Services

2. Many NQPs working as full paramedics without the programme support

3. No functional fast track scheme in place

We have since received an improved offer from employers for NQPs who started between 1 September 2016 and 31 March 2017. We have discussed this offer at our national committees and are broadly in support of this approach. This is an extract from the offer letter (bold writing is TU amendments currently under discussion):

I propose the following actions to be applied to newly qualified paramedics, employed between 1 September 2016 and 31 March 2017 (the Start Date). By this I mean, newly qualified paramedics registered with the HCPC and commenced employment in one of the 10 English ambulance trusts or Isle of Wight NHS Trust as a paramedic between these dates at Band 5, not subject to the job matching process.

  • For these staff, at their 12 month anniversary of employment (the Start Date) as a newly qualified paramedic, they will automatically progress to Band 6 (spine point 21), [and]
  • For these staff, at their 12 month anniversary of employment a review will [also] be undertaken to consider what remaining elements of the consolidation of learning programme they require to support their ongoing development. This includes the consolidation learning outcomes of clinical, professional practice, leadership, mentoring, wellbeing and resilience and reflective practice. A commitment to undertake any outstanding training or development will be required over the following 12 months, with appropriate support and/or training put in place by employers.

We still have significant difficulty with Trusts where there is still no functional NQP programme in place. Our first position is for our local staff sides to work in partnership with the relevant Trust to implement the NQP programme. In this regard, we welcome a commitment by employers to have fully implemented the NQP programme in the remaining Trusts by the end of December 2017.

However, we remain concerned for those paramedics who started on or after 1 April 2017, especially in Trusts with no functional NQP programme. Members of our national committees from these particular Trusts wanted us to place specific emphasis on this situation, as a failure to implement the NQP programme increases the risk of a challenge from an NQP performing the same role as a band 6 paramedic.

We will continue to work with employers to deliver the national paramedic banding agreement ensuring we highlight those areas where special focus is needed. We will keep you informed of progress. Thank you all for your ongoing support.

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