Having a role in driver training means that I always feel defensive when I hear or read stories like this, “Ambulance staff given driving refreshers as crashes cost NHS £40k a year”.
I have worked with many student and fully trained paramedics over the years and can say without question that the level of driver training they receive is excellent. Also I feel that things are always are looked at negatively, on the other side of the coin you could argue that having 700 vehicles in the EMAS’ fleet is always going to cause a high number of incidents but if you put the numbers through any calculator they look like this,
2000 calls taken per day X 365 days per year
= 730,000 calls per year
404 reported incidents / 730,000 calls per year
= 0.0006 incidents per call or potentially 1 incident for every 1,650 calls
Looked at this way I feel these figures have a more positive view, and without removing the driver altogether and replacing them with an autonomous system you will always have to make allowances for human error, seemingly the only thing Health and Safety doesn’t and won’t be able to fix. Looking at the nature of the work and the region these figures relate to also proves positive, the road network can be difficult at the best of times, let alone when there is pressure to meet an eight minute call out deadline. The one final point on this article for me is again why push a negative spin on the £100,000 spend on instructors, that’s only a £25,000 per year salary for four people and if the trust have looked at and justified the numbers then hopefully those four individuals will help to reduce the fleet repair bill and satisfy our legal systems requirements for appropriate occupational risk assessments to undertaken and acted upon.