Given that my spine didn’t hold out until I was 38, I know first hand how ridiculous an age 68 is to expect frontline crews to work until, but that is apparently the age considered acceptable for paramedics to be carrying people down flights of stairs, climbing into wrecked cars and driving at speed on blue lights.

It’s a stand-out example of how little ambulance executives and politicians comprehend – either that or they genuinely don’t care, in which they’ve got no place having anything to do with healthcare.

If they actually thought it through, it’ll probably end up costing the taxpayer more in the amount of injuries and illness that would be suffered by people of advanced age trying to fulfil their duties. They’re having a hard enough time keeping a younger workforce in a fit state to get the job done.

As described on the YouTube source page, this is a “music video protesting against the UK government’s proposal to increase the retirement/ pensionable age for all frontline NHS staff to 68, including paramedics. This will have a particularly damaging impact on ambulance staff and increase clinical risk for their patients. 

“Track performed and shot by the paramedic ’68 Old Stars’. 

“Original song ‘When I’m 64’ by Lennon/ McCartney, new lyrics Nicole Skeltys. Edited by Steven Ball and Nicole Skeltys.”


Anonymous · 29/01/2014 at 01:41

Great video, I wont hold my breath waiting to see if the Minister responsible – Hereditary and conservative peer Earl Howe who "has seen no evidence" that ambulance staff deserve to retire earlier, will actually take up the challenge of observing on 4 nightshifts.

Earl Howe has also 'seen no evidence' that the A!9 transport target being achieved by cars is detrimental to patient care and cannot see why you shouldn't lose 25% of your pay package if you are off sick. So the next time you attend a patient injured in their company car, if it causes them to be off sick do we take away their company car as that is part of their pay or work package and obviously they wont be at work will they?

Earl Howe also used to work for Barclays Bank. Yes You Bankers. You got us into this financial mess with your bonuses linked to 'AAA' rated financial loans that turned out to be 'junk'.

I'm sure he doesn't have a clue about any of the research showing high levels of PTSD (although he should do as he is on the mental health committee), injury, ill health and early death for ambulance staff. Also how shift work exacerbates it further.

He hasn't "seen any evidence" because he hasn't looked for any. If you have a different ideology imprinted from birth why would you?

Do the right thing, open your eyes and look. Take up the challenge and do four 12hour nightshifts.

Anonymous · 29/01/2014 at 01:51

Wow, I see EEAST chairman Dr Geoffrey Harris has resigned all of a sudden with 4 months left of his term.

Not good having a change of Chief Exec and Chairman in one month.

Anything to do with the 'Essex Mafia'? Or perhaps he has just won the lottery?

Anonymous · 29/01/2014 at 14:57

I would imagine the "Dr" wasn't too impressed with the clowns (sorry the board) for carrying on employing ECAs after he advised them not to.

Anonymous · 29/01/2014 at 23:16

Talking of the "Essex" lot anyone know what Paul Leaman is doing now?

He was the Essex Director of Operations who was suspended from the HPC (now HCPC) register in march 2009 for "colluding with a friend at Alliance Trading to give preference over other suppliers in supplying equipment to the Trust", having alterations made to a vehicle at cost to the NHS and subsequently using the vehicle untaxed and uninsured to travel to France at cost to the NHS to buy alcohol for himself and other Essex managers and then using the Trust disciplinary process to bully, intimidate and disproportionately discipline the fleet manager who had reported him .

Hayden Newton and Anthony Marsh were both character witnesses for Mr Leaman at the HPC hearing. Interestingly the HPC stated; “one has to question just how aware were those witnesses of the background circumstances”. Yes, how aware indeed? When Mr Leaman was found guilty of breaching the following standards; “You must keep high standards of personal conduct, you must carry out your duties in a professional and ethical way, you must behave with integrity and honesty and you must make sure your behaviour does not damage your profession’s reputation”. One may reasonably assume they were very aware indeed, but being aware didn’t stop Hayden Newton from employing him as an associate director immediately the HPC suspended him and giving him various associate director roles since, (he was previously employed by West Midlands under Anthony Marsh prior to the HPC hearing). Subsequently he was suspended from the HPC register for a year and received a caution for 5 years but voluntarily withdrew his name from the register.

By refusing to discipline him as a manager, (in fact he attempted to use the fact he had not been the subject of disciplinary action regarding the misuse of the motor vehicle in his defence), being character referees at his HPC hearing then ignoring the HPC hearing by re-employing him to a senior position they are effectively saying that the standards breached do not apply to managers, (or at least to their Essex friends).

Why raise this now? Because the latest CQC report published 25 January 2014 states (page 17); “However the trust may wish to note that staff morale in the Essex area of the trust was palpably different to the rest, with staff citing poor support, favouritism by managers and lack of leadership as the cause.”

Here in Essex we are well aware that favouritism for some means discrimination against everyone else but what will happen to the managers concerned? Promotion? Moved elsewhere?

Most of the senior managers who were advising the trust we could cut staff and ambulances and achieve everything with cars (while at the same time paying for private ambulances?) are still there. You only need to read the FOI requests on ‘What Do They Know’ to be aware that senior managers have been altering the findings of disciplinary reports and when caught out they then deleted any incriminating emails. One email referring to a member of staff under investigation asked “Dead or alive? Rob Ashford replied …..”dead sounds good”.
The HPC in its findings at the Paul Leaman hearing stated; “The fact there was no subsequent disciplinary procedure does not of itself show the event was not serious but may simply show a poor culture within the Trust at the time”.

What’s changed?

One chance Mr Marsh to sort this mess out, if you don’t finally sort out some of your managers and friends we’re screwed.

Anonymous · 02/02/2014 at 20:31

Rob Ashford is a well known lap dog of Anthony Marsh.

The bullying and victimization within the EEAS will still probably carry on. The only difference now is that managers won't be so stupid as to to record their dirty deeds on email.

Maybe a complete clear out in the Trust's HR Dept might be a good place to start. Some very strange goings on there.

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