We wrote to AT yesterday to initiate a dispute about designated Ramping Officers - the TOCD role. Here is a copy of the letter.
In short, paramedics have told us that periods assigned on the ramp intentionally ignore your meal break entitlements and that clinically one paramedic is capped at 4 patients at one time, which in our view is not always safe.AT cannot simply ignore the meal break provisions in your award. There is no expectation that any paramedic exceeds 5 hours of continuous duty (sometimes 4 hours) without a meal break unless specifically responding to a P0 or P1 dispatch.
The P0 and P1 provisions would not apply to the TOCD role, just like they don’t apply to the SOC members.
While there is a stated cap of 4 patients per paramedic for TOCD, we don’t agree you need to accept more than one patient unless it is clinically safe to do so, and you should be able to determine that. We also believe that a maximum period of 2 hours should be the accepted limit for the TOCD role. We also don’t accept that you are required to escort a patient to another area of the hospital, even if it’s in the interests of patient care, especially when you may be responsible for the clinical care of other patients.
You shouldn’t accept hospital-initiated care performed when there is no intent of the hospital staff taking the clinical care handover (hospital taking the patient), especially where that intervention is outside your scope of practice.
We also note that traditionally, the patient handover to the hospital happens away from the ramping areas. That means to perform the handover, you would need to abandon other patients under your clinical care, and we would suggest extreme caution in doing that.
We intend to have membership meetings on this topic. To be clear, we are in dispute with AT and it may be necessary to implement industrial bans to resolve this issue.