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  1. Unions welcome military support for ambulance service

    Richard Madden

    BBC Radio Humberside

    Union bosses have welcomed a move to bring in military support for ambulance workers in Lincolnshire.

    ambulance parked on street

    The East Midlands Ambulance Service which covers Lincolnshire (including North and North East Lincolnshire), Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire says 60 military personnel will be responding to non-emergency patients due to increasing demand and staff having to isolate because of Covid-19.

    They'll work alongside Urgent Care ambulance crew attending non-emergency patients and those who have already had medical investigations and require hospital treatment.

    The move has been welcomed by the UK's largest trade union, Unison.

    Gareth Eales, regional organiser, said: "It's hardly a surprise that the service has chosen to do this because the alternative is to cease operations and that isn't an option.

    "Covid has just exacerbated the pressure already on our ambulance services, they were stretched before the pandemic and it wouldn't surprise me to see further personnel being brought in."

    The military workers will have to complete a three-day training course with EMAS.

    Ben Holdaway, director of operations at East Midlands Ambulance Service, said: "The introduction of military support has always been part of NHS plans in case of increased pressure, we are taking this proactive step now to safeguard the provision of a safe 999 service for our patients in the coming weeks."