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28 November 2012
GMB VOTE OF “NO CONFIDENCE” IN PHIL MILLIGAN CHIEF EXECUTIVE EAST MIDLANDS AMBULANCE SERVICE OVER CHANGES THAT WILL PUT LIVES AT RISK
Without the details GMB has requested it is impossible to propose alternatives but this plan as it stands will not work says GMB
GMB has written to the Chairman of the Board of the East Midlands Ambulance Service with a Vote of “No Confidence” in CEO, Phil Milligan due to the way he is leading the current consultation called 'Being the Best'. See in notes to editors 1) GMB letter of 31st October and 2) progress of the consultation from 24th September to 31st October.
Colin Todd, Regional Organiser, said'GMB members are angry and frustrated at the proposal itself and the lack of any evidence to support claims that this will improve the service to the public. We have said already that we are worried that the changes could put lives at risk by turning a lifesaving service into a postcode lottery
GMB feel the consultation is a sham and a tick box exercise. We do not want to get to the end of this process and find it is too late to influence the decision making. Without the details we have requested, it makes it impossible to propose alternatives, but this plan as it stands will not work.'
1. GMB letter
Our Ref: CT/VM 31 October 2012
Phil Milligan, Chief Executive, East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust, Trust Headquarters, 1 Horizon Place, Mellors Way, Nottingham NG8 6PY.
Dear Mr Milligan
Please find attached the GMB response to your answers to our questions.
Overall, your responses are wholly inadequate; they fail to answer many of the questions and there is no supporting evidence to claims made by the Trust.
When we met on Friday (26 October 2012) it confirmed to me that we are poles apart in our view of this process. For clarity the GMB position is: we feel the consultation is a sham.
This view is based on:-
· The original estates plan was 33 hubs. Meeting of 27 June.
· Hubs reduced to 13 in the media announcement of 17 July and in the paper for the Board 23 July.
· Staffside raise concerns over the proposal at a meeting on 17 August and are told the reduction in hubs is due to costs.
· 12 September I raised my concerns by email.
· 13 September, staffside were presented with the same proposal prior to formal consultation starting and raised concerns over the lack of detail.
· 17 September – formal consultation is announced.
· 20 September – Email to you from GMB Exec Lead regarding the consultation, which to date has not received a response.
· 24 September – GMB send a list of questions to be answered by 19 October.
· 1 October – email to David Farrelly with concerns over consultation.
· 2 October – response received.
· 19 October – EMAS respond to questions without any supporting documentation.
· 26 October – meeting in your office where the poor consultation process was again raised.
From the meeting on 26 October it is apparent that your view on consultation is a long way from mine and is also not in line with our current Partnership Agreement. I have copied the relevant section of the Partnership Agreement below for information:
3.3 The Six Principles of Partnership Working
3.3.1 As supportive partners, we will give:
§ A shared commitment to the success of the organisation.
§ A commitment to employment security and personal development in return for a higher level of functional flexibility in the workplace and a commitment to improving and modernising ambulance services.
§ A renewed focus on the quality of working life, giving staff access to opportunities to improve their skills, focussing attention on improving job content and enriching the quality of work.
§ Openness and a willingness to share information, the ability to engage in and consult on policy and service development at an early stage and the opportunity to jointly implement policy and service change.
§ Added value so that all parties can see that partnership is delivering measurable improvements.
Recognition and respect by management and trade unions that we each have different legitimate interests as well as roles and responsibilities'. This mutual respect should be within a context of no surprises.
You have put out a proposal, which you admit to being pitched at a low number of hubs so you can increase at the end of the process. You admit to NOT having evidence to support claims about reducing mileage, costs of building the hubs, income from the sale of ambulance stations; and you 'hope' this model will increase response times.
You are using the 'consultation' to gather opinions so you can present a final plan to the Board in January, without any further input from staff, unions or public.
You have conveyed that the 'hub and spoke' model is the plan, it is only how it is going to be applied which is what the consultation is about.
I have asked for information about every ambulance station and suggested the estates plan should be localised. This was dismissed as it is not in your plan.
We registered our concerns that the 'new' rotas have only been put out in Notts division and this should have happened at the beginning of the consultation for all areas.
The most worrying part of the proposal is the huge geographical gaps between the hubs, which we feel will create a second class emergency service for some areas.
You do not need to be very clever to recognise which areas will suffer by simply looking at your own map of where the hubs are proposed to be placed.
GMB would like to have positive constructive discussions to help form an improved service to the public, but without the raw data it is very difficult to propose realistic, workable solutions.