999 crews spark health lottery fears

Share this article

Patients are facing a health lottery after paramedics were stopped from administering life-saving drugs.

Six people at Hailsham Ambulance Station have been stripped of their paramedic status pending enquiries by South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb).

The demotion to technicians leaves them unable to administer drugs. Patients could now face 30 minute waits for a second ambulance with a paramedic to attend them.

The enquirie centres around the signing in and out of drugs by paramedics, a source said.

The whistle-blower, who asked to stay anonymous amid fears for their job, said the station was now two paramedics short.

They said: “It’s almost a lottery who you get and what help you receive at that time.

“All ambulance staff can carry out things to keep you going but the demoted paramedics can no longer administer drugs to help alliviate the pain or to keep the heart going, for example.

“This could have serious consequences for people living in the area.”

He added: “Paramedics are supposed to sign drugs out in the morning and back in at night.But the staff going on duty have very little time to book on and go straight out so to save time, if they know they are back on same ambulance the next day, will leave their stuff on there.

“This happens all over but because the people in Hailsham are older they are perceived as trouble makers.”

A SECAmb spokesman said they did not comment on individual members of staff.

He said: “It’s an internal matter that we are dealing with.

“This matter will not affect patient care.”