Yesterday, HACSU received a copy of a letter sent to Ambulance Tasmania CEO Neil Kirby outlining a survey conducted by a caring AT member, and the very upsetting survey results left us unusually speechless, but it confirms what we've been concerned about for ages.
"Ambulance Tasmania is in a state of utter disarray with the psychological impact of ramping affecting paramedics in the extremis... I hold genuine and immediate concern for the welfare of my colleagues and fear that without swift and decisive intervention the consequences could be catastrophic", said the paramedic who wrote the letter on behalf of his southern region colleagues, many of whom are experiencing anxiety and insomnia and are being reduced to tears by stress.
Despite all our attempts over many years to improve the workload and ramping situation, we've now reached this very low point.
We lay no blame at the feet of anyone in Ambulance Tasmania as we know that whether you're a paramedic, work in the SOC, admin, PTS, education or in management, the current circumstances aren't of your making, and we all try to make things better, but with the circumstances in our hospitals, communities and resources this is impossible.
A few weeks ago HACSU's Tim Jacobson and Chris Kennedy made a formal referral to WorkSafe, the regulator, to ask it to investigate the circumstances surrounding ramping in our hospitals and the effect on staff and patient safety, and it's told us it has commenced a preliminary investigation.
We provided WorkSafe with supporting documentation showing our attempts to resolve ramping, but the problem is we need significantly more resources, stations, vehicles, crews, support staff and, most of all, hospital beds.
Here in the HACSU office we absolutely understand how hard it is on staff, and and if any of our members need to talk to someone or need help, please don't hesitate to call us.
We'll keep strongly advocating for this issue to be resolved and we truly hope the survey and letter are given the consideration they deserve, and we thank the brave person who pulled it together and we'll be following up the letter with the CEO.