PROPOSED changes to Accident&Emergency staffing at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust will be put to employees on Monday.

The Trust, which covers 6,000 square miles, is planning to shake up the way it operates in order to balance its budget over the next five years and give patients “the best possible clinical outcomes”.

The proposals, described as final, include increasing the number of qualified paramedics over the next five years and retaining an existing tier of paramedics with additional clinical skills.

In addition, it also plans to introduce Emergency Care Assistants to work alongside paramedics on ambulances. These roles, which will see the assistants trained to drive under ‘blue light’ circumstances, are already part of A&E services elsewhere.

The Trust says the changes will not lead to a reduction in overall staffing and there will be no compulsory redundancies.

Other facets include pay protection arrangements that ensure A&E staff will not see a reduction in their current level of pay over the next five years and a commitment to remain aligned to the national terms and conditions of employment for NHS staff.

Outling the plans, which the Trust says have been developed following extensive consultation with unions, UNISON and Unite, David Whiting, chief executive of the Yorkshire Ambulance Service, said: “Our absolute focus throughout this process has been to ensure that we continue to deliver a safe, responsive and high quality service to the people of Yorkshire over the coming years. “We have also sought to ensure we protect the current employment and future career prospects of our A&E staff as much as we possibly can during these challenging economic times.”