What it’s like to be an ambulance driver in Rishi Sunak’s UK

Spiking inflation is generating a global cost of living crisis, and Britain is no exception. As workers across industries hit the picket lines to denounce privatization and demand action from the Tory government to raise wages, ambulance workers are now joining the fray—with a major strike action planned later in February. TRNN speaks directly with ambulance drivers and emergency medical personnel who say their real wages are falling as Downing Street’s schemes to further privatize the National Health Service only continue. This video is part of a special Workers of the World series on the cost of living crisis in Europe.

Producer, videographer, and video editor: Ross Domoney

Read the transcript here: https://therealnews.com/uk-ambulance-drivers-join-cost-of-living-strike-wave-sweeping-britain

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Author: phillyfinest369


36 thoughts on “What it’s like to be an ambulance driver in Rishi Sunak’s UK

  1. The British healthcare workers should be receiving some sort of subsidized housing assistance from the government!

  2. I am a "retired" career professional EMS Paramedic here in the states; I was forced to make a decision when I was married and was about to have our son, as to how I would be able to provide for my family.
    At that time, I had been a Captain with New York City Emergency Medical Services (pre-merger with FDNY), and was making ~$42,000 yr, – with overtime shifts as well as working a part time job as a 'medic in Westchester County.
    I didn't want to leave the career, but saw no future opportunity in a financial respect, to be able to properly provide for my family, and to be able to spend time with my son, or to be able to adequately provide for his financial future. So, I decided to go back to school, and became a registered nurse; something that I said I would never do, and left the autonomy, my practice, and the streets, thus leaving my career as a seasoned Prehospital care provider.
    Because of my experience, skills and education as a 25 + yr Paramedic, I did very well as a RN, however, it was extremely difficult to adjust to requiring a physician order to give someone a Tylenol, or not be able to perform an immediate life saving intervention to save a patient's life, without a physician present and giving an order. And, the in fighting and politics present in the nursing field, in addition to the unrealistic nurse to patient ratio, as well as other factors inherit to nursing, created an enormous amount of stress, – far greater than I ever experienced working in the street, – and I resented having become a nurse, my performance and interest in my new career began to fade, and I hated nursing and health care in general. At that point I realized that it was time to leave the nursing field and subsequently moved on to an entirely different line of work.
    I totally understand and support the NHS Ambulance staff and Paramedics in the UK. And I respect their strength, courage, and commitment to demand better living wages, work conditions, and presumably parity with the other Public Safety services they work with.
    I still keep abreast of how things are going in EMS, and it's very sad to see that little if anything has changed. The average EMT is a young person who is hoping to find a career in professional Prehospital care, but eventually burns out, and sees the reality that, – unless you are fortunate enough to be hired by a large Fire Department that provides EMS (generally requiring that you become a Firefighter, which comes first, and maintain your EMT or Paramedic certification), there really is no sustainable future in the field. There are fewer and fewer third service providers (ie: the merger of NYC*EMS into FDNY) that can offer an adequate career in this line of work, and most EMTs leave the field in a few years. Further, it takes some time to achieve the experience and skills necessary to become a good Paramedic, and few EMTs last that long, so systems are compelled to send green inexperienced EMTs to Paramedic Sciences programs, and then you have Paramedics with fewer strengths and less experience graduating and hitting the street, which is not an optimal solution to the problem. Those Paramedics that do survive and thrive in their upgraded position frequently become burned out, as well as physically unable to continue doing the work ( because EMS, the bastard stepchild of Public Safety, does not provide the additional resources necessary to help keep the job safe, and unlike the Fire Service and Law Enforcement, where resources are readily available, EMS still generally does not, and the "old days of ambulance drivers" – where two people lift and carry their patient, and their equipment, etc etc – remains the same as it was before the field advanced to what it has become today, and EMS providers end up injured, either with serious back injuries, or from bystanders who assault EMS personal.
    I wish the EMS people in the UK the very best of success in achieving their goals and objectives. They deserve better; – much better, for the life saving work that they do.

  3. Dear Real News, as I live in the UK, allow me to point out the error in your title… It is not Rishi's UK nor indeed Rishi's fault. It is capitalism's UK and Rishi is just the latest odious caretaker put into office to ensure as little changes as possible for as many people as possible, as capitalism demands. And Starmer looks set to take those reigns and ride that horse in exactly the same manner whereby when he leaves office the bottom half of the country will be just as poor or poorer as when he enters office. Just like Biden. Indeed just like every leaders of the majority of western nations for the last 40 years so long as they were only ever a centrist, or a right winger, which = the vast bulk of them elected to positions of high office.

    And the ONLY thing that can make any damned difference to the working majority and their services in the UK, in Canda, in the USA, in France, in Germany, in Spain, etc, is to elect people willing to stand up to capitalism itself, and that is a thing no centrist nor right winger will ever do. So we will slide ever more towards the far right as more extreme political candidates come forward with their scapegoats on hand in order to misdirect blame away from the failures of capitalism and onto the failures of centrists in isolation and that if the people would just elect whatever further right arsehole stands, he will duly victimise and resolve the problems attributed to whatever scapegoat he or she or they present at the time.

    So for me, I would have changed the title to be a little bit more accurate regards cause and effect:

    What it's like to be an ambulance driver in capitalist UK under Rishi Sunak.

  4. Its your own fault! Maybe you should have chosen a career that is more crucial for society, like running after ball. You do not see ronaldo complaining about his wage.

  5. Is this a case for privatization of the NHS? Private companies are averaging about 7% gains in wages currently. Governments can't afford to continually raise salaries. They always over promise during good times and under deliver as reality sets.

  6. It makes NO difference as to whom is the PM. You signed up to save lives. You KNEW the wage when you took the job. Now stop effing whining about it and do what you PROMISED to do.

  7. I notice that no one says how much the drivers get paid before saying they need to be paid more. One of the drivers talked about 13£ and hour which I'd agree is pretty low for the skill BUT I don't believe that is his rate of pay. Care assistants in our local trust get paid nearly 15 an hour and I'd be very surprised if our drivers got paid less than a care assistant.

  8. So , a minimum of 13£ an hour (I assume most are earning more than that the way that guy was speaking). 104£ a day, 520£ a week, 27,040£ a year. I assume in addition there are some paid leaves. And that's the minimum apparently. Why is it that bad for a minimum for an ambulance worker. And what is the average??
    I don't live in the UK BTW but I have lived there a few years back.

  9. CP Farmer's/Labor party in 🇨🇳, hired 150k nurses, 200k doctors. Universal Pharmacare costs capped. Poverty alleviation completed 10 yrs ago. CGTN The Point-Heat-Hub, Cyrus Janssen & Daniel Dumbrill

  10. I do have empathy for the paramedics,A and E nurses and doctors…. but please,the elephant in the room is that GPS ARE NOT SEEING PATIENTS.I lost my sister to undiagnosed cancer because GP wouldn't see her….ended up so ill was rushed into hospital where she was diagnosed and died….I strongly suspect that is the case in many excess deaths…. GPs aren't seen or heard, have you noticed?? WHERE ARE THEY??

  11. I wonder if a long-term targeted strike/denial-of-service on "important" districts could work as well. Like, the ambulances don't drive near parliament, finance districts or rich people neighborhoods.

  12. Losing staff BECAUSE of the financial crisis? Sounds daft! You’d think folk want to be employed in such circumstances. Have the thousands of unvaccinated staff that left or were fired been reinstated now that natural immunity has been recognised?

  13. My wife goes to the hospital three times a week, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, she spends approximately 3 to 5 hours there. she's been going for the last 4 years as she has no kidneys. so she goes to dialysis as I say 3 times a week, we wakes up at 6, half an hour A drink of 6:30 ambulance comes,15 to 20 minutes in the hospital as I say between 3 and 5 hours. let's just say the 3 hour ambulance no problem now let's say the 5 hours again no problem. What I am saying is maybe on strike but the ambulances are there. I know that I'm not lying. So

  14. If I were to guess privatizing Healthcare is a double whammy for the capitalist they align there pockets while giving shitter and shitter service just like they do to us, and wrecking their unions

  15. Had to wait 11, 18 and 4hrs for ambulance after 999 calls for help with Terminal cancer patient.
    I totally support these and the Drs, and nurses of Nhs.

    My stepdaughter is an HCA with Norwich Hospital. She is a single mum with young children.
    They use food banks, and the conditions are horrendous.

    The attending ambulance staff were saints, they sat in parking lot after hubby was triaged at the hospital, then reverse-boarded and spent several hours in the ambulance before admitted to a bay in A&E. Where he stayed for 48hrs. Then to an acute ward, onto oncology a week later.

  16. You know what happened during the covi-hysteria? That the public health services were devastated in all Europe. It's worse than shame: it's a Nazi-level crime against Humanity! They're killing us!

  17. How are people surviving if they give up work? Surely benefits do not provide more than working – but if they do, that is serious.

    Also where will the money come from to pay benefits plus all the other things taxes are supposed to be paying for if there are not enough people working and earning enough to pay the required taxes ?

  18. In the US it costs $18,865 on average to have a baby. Today, that's £15,227.87. I know people who have had no insurance and have left the hospital in Florida with a new baby and a bill for this much money. They have to borrow money to pay for their baby. The Tories have impoverished perhaps millions of Brits with the destruction of the NHS.

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