Deployment of staff on non-bulkhead Ambulances

Deployment of PTS Staff and Non-Bulkhead Ambulances

Unison has been contacted by members employed within the PTS service(s) with regard to their deployment in support of emergency services within our Trust because they are concerned about the lack of PPE and or training in their new area of deployment. Unison has sought assurances that these concerns are being addressed as a matter of urgency before any members become injured or infected as a consequence.

Unison Health and Safety is also aware that the majority of PTS ambulances and also a number of other ambulances currently being prepared at a Holding Centre have been constructed without a bulkhead separating the patient saloon area from the crew cab. This was identified in a recent reportby the Branch Health & Safety Officer following a visit to the Centre.

Unison has notified the Trust of their concerns which are covered in a recent document from NHS England and NHS Improvement which specifies their requirements, issued on 27 March 2020 which covers the “requirements for all patient transport service (PTS) providers and NHS ambulance Trusts in England during the Covid-19 emergency response”.

Section 8 covers the Health & Safety requirements:

1. To minimise the risk of infection to PTS drivers and patients from potential infection with Covid-19implement appropriate proportionate use of PPE and decontamination of vehicles.
2. To protect PTS drivers and patients, all vehicles are to be fitted with temporary bulkheads.
3. Vehicle interiors are to be wiped down with CHLORINE wipes after each journey and deep cleaned with a 1000ppm chlorine-based solution once a day.
4. PTS staff to have access to Covid-19 testing in line with that available to clinical staff as soon as it comes on stream, carried out at a local level.

Unison Health & Safety considers it a priority to implement the installation of temporary bulkheads within ALL ambulances in the interest of staff and patient safety, as a matter of urgency and has requested assurances from the Trust that this is currently being acted upon.

Jeff Pittman

East of England Ambulance Service

Unison Health & Safety Officer

Single Point of Contact (SPOC) Covid-19

22 April 2020