North East Ambulance Service has signed a commitment to secure the support of the metal health of their workers.
Following Time to Talk Day last Thursday, a nationwide event based on becoming more open about mental health issues, the North East Ambulance Service has signed its support to the Blue Light Time to Change campaign which is run by the charity Mind.
The pledge was signed by Chief Executive Yvonne Ormston and the Director of Strategy, Transformation and Workforce, Caroline Thurlbeck at the Trust’s headquarters in Newcastle.
Mrs Ormston said: “I am extremely proud of our workforce, which is dedicated to providing the best possible patient care, often in incredibly difficult circumstances.
“By the very nature of their jobs, our crews out on the road and call handlers in our Contact Centre never know what they are walking into when they start with shifts each day.”
The North East Ambulance Service has a workforce of more than 2,500 members and most of their work is on the front line.
Mrs Ormston added: “Some of the calls and incidents they deal with can be incredibly challenging.
“Whether that be through the treatment of a violent drunk patient or a traumatic incident, it can have a lasting impact on those involved.
“It is therefore incredibly important that we do all what we can as a Trust to look after our staff and recognise when they need extra support.”
One in four people in the UK experience a mental health problem every year. Evidence shows that those working in the emergency services are at a higher risk of experiencing a mental health issue than the general public.
The Blue Light Time to Change campaign follows the Trust’s introduction of a new debriefing system, which provides additional support for Emergency Care staff for 24 hours a day.
In the past two years, the North East Ambulance service answered 1.107 million emergency 999 and NHS 111 calls.
They have also responded to over 300,00 incidents that resulted in a patient being taken to hospital and treated. Over this time, emergency care crews were able to reach over 130,000 incidents within the national target of 8 minutes.