Paramedics leaving London Ambulance service trebles

London Ambulance Service Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The London Ambulance Service has 1,784 paramedics

The number of paramedics leaving the profession in London has almost trebled in the last three years, according to a new report.

Figures from the London Health Board showed that 238 people left the London Ambulance Service (LAS) in 2013-14, compared to 80 from 2011-2012.

Thirty paramedics left in May 2014 alone, the board said.

LAS said there are currently 250 paramedic vacancies and it is continuing to recruit staff.

Living costs

The report, entitled Making the Case for London, stated that if current trends continued there could be 600 frontline vacancies across the LAS by the end of 2014.

"The most acute group is that of paramedics, in May we lost 30 and if that trend continues, even accounting for those paramedics graduating in September and joining us (which is by no means certain) this will still leave us with a shortfall," the report said.

The paper added that even with 100 graduates joining the service in September, the service could potentially lose 180 by then.

The report said that affordable housing and transport costs were some of the issues which could affect whether staff choose to stay in the role.

The LAS are calling on more to be done to tackle the cost of living for healthcare staff in cities.

LAS director of operations Jason Killens said: "The real issue for us here is the high cost of living and working in London. Not only for us but all public sector workers.

"The evidence we have submitted to the London Health Board and indeed to the national pay review body is asking them to seriously consider what more can be done to support all public sector workers with the true cost of living in our capital cities."

About 3,300 operation staff work for the LAS, including 1,784 paramedics.

Earlier this year, the LAS said it had been granted permission to recruit overseas, with the UK Border Agency approving their application to sponsor work visas for non-European paramedics.

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